Tag Archives: meatless monday

Grilled Fish with Indian spice rub, cream and mustard

Depending on the definition you adhere to, you may or may not consider a fish dish to be appropriate for Meatless Monday. In my definition, fish is not meat. It’s just fish. 🙂 Originally I had planned this blog post for a Monday. I didn’t finish it yesterday anyway, so maybe that is just as well for you guys that use a stricter definition of meat that includes fish. No matter … let’s get on and enjoy some more ideas about cooking good food.

Grilled Fish
Grilled Fish

Today  I am going to show you my version of one of the not-so-obvious dishes I stumbled across in Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. This is the cookbook I have been having fun going through this past year while learning some easy ways to prepare Indian-style food. The recipe I will be referring to is on page 68 and is simply called “Grilled Fish Steaks”.

There are no photos of this particular dish in the cookbook, so if you have the book (or might be getting it in the future), maybe my photos will be useful to you. And even if you don’t have the cookbook, you can probably follow my description of the basic ingredients and method to come up with your own ad hoc recipe.

By the name of the recipe alone, one might think this would be a healthy, low calorie dish. I did, at first, until reading further into the list of ingredients which included heavy whipping cream! But I justified that small indulgence by making a healthy choice of the fish I would use in this dish.

The recipe in the book calls for either fish steaks (which usually come with a central bone), or filleted chunks of haddock, salmon, or tuna i.e. fish with firm flesh that is firm enough to hold together like a steak. I didn’t have any of these, but neither is it unusual to let a little thing like that deter me. My local Sam’s store had a nice fillet of steelhead trout (which for all purposes is like wild-caught salmon).

steelhead trout fillet
steelhead trout fillet

Here is the fillet after I have removed the skin from the underside. My Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife made this any easy job. While I was removing the skin, the skin side was down and I just skimmed the knife between the skin and the flesh. You can see how a a slight bit of silver-ish haze remains here and there on the side of the fillet that was next to the skin, but that is not going to hurt anything.

the fillet after skin removed on underside
the fillet after skin removed on underside

The ingredients for the rub mixture are salt (to your taste; I personally go quite light on this), freshly ground black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, but I think half-and-half works fine (at least that’s only half as bad, lol). I don’t have the type of grainy mustard  called for in the book (Pommery Moutarde de Meaux), so I just used my favorite local Creole Mustard made by Zatarain’s.

ingredients for the rub and sauce
ingredients for the rub and sauce

The steps for assembling and cooking are pretty easy and straight forward. I place the fish on a large tray lined with foil. Dribble a bit of peanut oil over the fish, then pat half of the rub mixture into the flesh.

ready to start broiling the first side
starting to broil the first side

Broil about 4″ from heat source until starting to brown (start watching closely at about 2 minutes). Mix the mustard and cream together and brush half of it onto the fish.

fish brushed with mustard cream sauce
fish brushed with mustard cream sauce

Broil again another couple minutes until turning golden brown.

Flip the fish and repeat the rub and mustard cream sauce steps on the other side. Here is a photo of the completed dish. I’ve broken off a serving size of fish and placed it on a bed of plain brown basmati rice that I had cooked separately. I served with lime wedges, although you could use lemon wedges as called for in the cookbook recipe.

serving up the grilled fish
serving up the grilled fish

Bon appetit!

 

Brussels Sprouts with Indian Seasonings

We’re not only in Lent season, but today is also Meatless Monday. So I wanted to tell you about another tasty vegetable dish I concocted. I call it Brussels Sprouts with Indian Seasonings.

I actually made this dish a little while back, but just had not gotten around to pulling the photos and a blog article together to show you. That means you might have to use frozen instead of fresh Brussels sprouts due to seasonal availability, but I think that should work out similarly. Before beginning the cooking, I slice the Brussels sprouts in half so that the flavorings can more easily permeate them during the later stir-frying. I also thinly slice a medium-sized onion and set that aside.

The cleaned and cut Brussels sprouts
The cleaned and cut Brussels sprouts

I can’t claim much creativity in concocting this dish, as it basically is Madhur Jaffrey’s “Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds” from page 94 of the book Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. After all, Brussels sprout is in the same family as cabbage. I actually liked this recipe used with the Brussels sprouts better than shredded cabbage, maybe because there is more ‘body’ to the Brussels sprouts.

I always love the balance of seasonings in Jaffrey’s recipes, so I used the proportions in her recipe for the flavoring ingredients: fennel seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and garam marsala.

After heating up a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok, I sizzled the spices briefly to release their aromas. I just love this part. I like to have all the seasonings measured beforehand, as this part of the assembly process goes very fast. Then add the thinly sliced onion and stir-fry a couple of minutes until the “just browning stage”. Then toss in the Brussels sprouts and stir-fry to the degree of doneness you prefer.

Ingredients assembled in the wok
Ingredients assembled in the wok

Total cooking time goes quickly — about 10 to 12 minutes total, including time for sizzling the spices and browning the onions. You might like to cook the Brussels Sprouts longer, but I personally find they taste better when not overcooked and mushy. If you start with previously frozen Brussels sprouts, the cooking time might be even less.

The finished dish - Brussels Sprouts with Indian Seasonings
The finished dish - Brussels Sprouts with Indian Seasonings

Yumm. For other savory meatless dishes, check out my February 6th article Meatless Doesn’t Have To Be Tasteless.

p.s. A shout-out to my fellow bloggers in this month’s challenge.

V7N Blog Challenge with a Twist

Musings about Meatless Monday

I’ve been keeping up with the 30 Day Blogging Challenge so far. Have you noticed? It’s been fun and I hope you are enjoying it, too. Besides motivating me to blog daily, I have made new friends and learned lots of interesting things. For example, I had never heard of Meatless Monday until I read about it yesterday on The Organic Geek’s blog.

Since I hardly ever meat anymore, I thought it would hardly be any effort for me to go without meat today (Monday). In fact, the last time I had meat was last Thursday, and that was just a tiny bit of left over chicken in a mostly vegetable Indian stew that I had made up 2 days before. I certainly didn’t want that delicious concoction to go to waste!

So there I was earlier today, checking out the frig for something to eat for lunch. I just realized that I still had some left over French onion soup made earlier last week. And again, I don’t want this to go to waste. But wait, that soup has a beef broth base. Does that count as meat or not, lol?

I do have a totally vegetarian dish planned tonight with fresh mushrooms, curry and other Indian spices. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and it was very tasty. Oh well, I think I’ve mostly kept to the spirit of Meatless Monday. Did you?