Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Best Fish You've Never Heard Of!

Saturday night, and here we are again.  If I wasn’t sick, I’d feel very depressed about that fact. But, what can you do.  Health update: I’m switching back to Asacol tomorrow.  The new form of the drug that I have been trying these past few weeks has been wracking my body with severe and painful side effects, so enough is enough. Ulcerative Colitis is a lot of times “trial and error” when it comes to healing, because everyone’s disease is different and specific to their own body.  I am going to be taking 15 fish oil pills a day…and that’s a highlight! *womp womp*
So any way, tonight at midnight — technically Sunday — we can break our Lenten fast and have a small treat of what we’ve given up.  My mom is all excited about that, but she won’t tell me what she gave up! I guess we’ll wait and see :)
zingy capers, fresh basil, and nutty artichokes! YUM!
Ok, now on to dinner! Earlier this week, I learned that my dad LOVES capers, which are pickled little flower buds that have a bright, briney, zing of flavor that goes wonderfully with fish and pasta. I decided to make him a special pasta treat!
I served a super flavorful artichoke, caper pasta with AMAZING broiled hake fish!
pasta stare down
Let me just take a minute to talk about this fantastic fish. Our friends atLobsta Bakes recommended that we try Hake. It was the fresh catch of the day (wild, ocean caught) and the owner’s favorite fish! We had to give it a try…and Oh My Gosh. This is 2nd ONLY to Sea Bass! This fish was SO flakey, moist, buttery, meaty–yet–delicate, and reminded us a lot of sea bass! It is a member of the Cod family, and could be called, “poor man’s lobster.”  I broiled it with 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, for about 10 minutes, until flakey….and boy, does it flake!
check out that flaking action!
Ok, next: onto our pasta treat! Here’s what you need:
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
3 vine ripened tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
dried oregano and basil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable stock
fresh basil
10 kalamata olives, sliced
1/3 cup capers, drained and rinsed
reserved pasta water
Here’s your road map: I sautéed my onions in 1 tsp EVOO with salt and pepper. After they soften for about 5 minutes, add your garlic and dried herbs.  After a minute, add your mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until they brown.  Deglaze with your white wine and let reduce.  Stir in your frozen artichoke hearts and allow them to defrost. (This will only take a minute.)  Then stir in tomatoes and vegetable stock.  Let them warm through, and it is now ready for the pasta! Right before you add in your pasta, stir in the olives, capers, and most (reserve some for garnish) of your basil chiffonade. Add pasta water to help create a silky sauce.
my dad's special pasta :)
This pasta was so yummy. There was a tang that you can only get from those little capers. The mushrooms added an earthy meatiness, the basil offered a burst of freshness, while the artichokes offered depth and a great texture. Paired with the lemony, delicate hake, we were practically licking our plates.
I hope my dad enjoyed his special caper pasta!
For meals like this with a lot of chopping and dicing, I love my Chop2Pot cutting board. It folds in thirds, forming a "chute," making transferring the veggies from board to pan a breeze! Mine is a gorgeous sky blue:) You can find one here: 

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