Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A successful attempt to like fish.

This fall, my dear friend Courtney moved to London--and acquired swine flu fairly fairly soon after. I read this article on Epicurious called "Six Foods That Fight the Flu" and decided to pass it along.

The other funny thing about Courtney is that, while a serious foodie, she does not like fish. Courtney and I went to Thailand together this past summer, and in preparation, she began ordering fish at restaurants, determined to convince herself that she liked it. I hadn't eaten fish since I was a child--I can't remember what did me in, but I'm sure it was one forgettable unpleasant experience that made me vow, "Never again!".

So, in preparation for Thailand, where we all assumed we'd be eating fish, I also began ordering it out. I started with Salmon, at my favorite Philadelphia restaurant, Fork. If anyone could make me like fish, it was Fork. After a very pleasant experience, I decided to start ordering it more often (and found salmon to be often more exciting than the chicken or beef entrees).

Then, I cooked it for Laura and myself. This recipe, from the article, allows you to preserve as much vitamin D as possible by roasting--and allows you to avoid handling the fish too much. I made some tweaks to the recipe as far as the red pepper goes. We served this over cous cous the first time, which was delightful, but here I paired it with a lentil ragout (a Karen Hunter recipe).

Baked Salmon with Bell Peppers and Capers
Serves 2

1 lb wild salmon fillets
1 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 whole peeled garlic cloves
Kosher salt
Black pepper

1. Remove its core and seeds, and cut the red pepper into strips less than an inch wide and 1 1/2 -inch long.
2. Turn on the oven to 375°.
3. Wash the fish in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.
4. Coat a baking dish with 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay the salmon down in the pan, skin side facing down if you have long fillets. Distribute all around the salmon the peppers, capers, and the whole peeled garlic cloves. Sprinkle with a liberal quantity of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the remaining olive oil over the fish. Put the dish in the preheated oven and cook for 16 minutes. Let it settle for a few minutes before serving.

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