Monday, September 13, 2010

141. Fish Fillets with Mushroom Sauce, Sophistcated

Seafood was frequently on the menu in my childhood home. Many kinds of fish were eaten and thoroughly enjoyed. I do remember, though, that some varieties were riddled with tiny bones. Eating those kinds of fish was rather tortuous. Try as I might, there were always a few little bones that did not get picked out prior to eating. Discovery of them usually happened at the exact moment the swallowing process began. The swallow could be halted as the bone stabbed the eater in the throat. What to do next was a difficult decision. I can remember thinking when I was in such a bone-stabbing situation, that if I continued to swallow, I would choke to death...

Undeterred, fresh or frozen fish continues to be a favorite, but I loved the chunkier, boneless varieties a lot more than the other kind. I also love canned sardines and kippers, two fish that neither my husband nor children will eat. As I have said before with favorite food that no one else likes, "Yippee...more for me."

Grocery stores that sell fish are handy, but one has to be careful to select fresh should never smell 'fishy'. Flash frozen fish is usually a safe way to buy and enjoy fish if you do not live near a fish market. There are usually recipe cards at the fish sales counters and some of them have really great ideas. Today's post was adapted from a recipe flyer I picked up at such a counter many years ago. I love the sophisticated flavors.

Fish Fillets with  Mushroom Sauce

2 T olive oil
1 T margarine
¼ lbs mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 ½ pounds cod, bass or other lean fish
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 C water
¼ C white wine

3-4 C cooked rice

Heat 1 T of oil and the margarine in a wide frying pan over med. Heat. When oil is hot, add chopped onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring, until mushrooms are lightly browned and onions are translucent(about 8 minutes). Halfway through the browning process add minced garlic. Lift out vegetables and set aside.

Rinse fish and pat dry. Heat remaining oil in pan over med/high heat. When oil is hot, add fish in a single layer. Cover and cook until the first side is cooked, carefully turn fish pieces over with a spatula. Cover and continue cooking until fish is just done. With a wide spatula, lift out fish and transfer to a warm platter and keep warm.

Stir together cornstarch, water and wine. Pour into pan and stir quickly; add mushroom mixture and stir to loosen brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook over med-high heat stirring, until mixture comes to a boil.Turn down heat, stir continually and add more water if necessary to keep sauce from becoming too thick. It should be pourable. Taste and season with salt and pepper to bring out the flavors.  4-5 servings.

Place warm rice portions on serving plates and carefully place pieces of fish on top of rice. Spoon mushroom sauce over fish. Serve immediately.  4 servings.

Side dish suggestions: broccoli, peas, green beans.

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