Monday, April 11, 2011

A Wish for a New Tasty Fish Dish!

You may have heard that earlier this year the USDA released the new updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans.   It is full of do’s and don’t’s for improving your diet and includes some interesting analysis on the changes in our overall eating habits and obesity rates over the past 40 years.   
One of the sections I found particularly interesting was Chapter 4 - Food and Nutrients to Increase. (It is just always more fun to focus on what you should be adding instead of what you need to be deleting!) This section included one of my favorite food groups - seafood!
The USDA is recommending that 8 oz or more or roughly 20% of our protein should come from seafood.  It also recommends that we consume “a variety of seafood, as opposed to a just a few choices”.  This got me thinking about the variety of seafood that I eat.  
When I am out at restaurants I absolutely eat lots of different varieties of seafood but when I am home I tend to prepare three varieties the most often - salmon, shrimp and crab.  Clearly I am in a cooking rut.  Time to break out and start cooking more seafood varieties at home!  So every month I am going to pick a different seafood to prepare.   
This month I started with barramundi, a mild, slightly sweet, flaky white fish.  I have enjoyed this fish while dining out several times and was delighted to find a bag of plain frozen filets in the freezer on my last Costco run so I could try cooking it for myself. 
The firm texture and mild flavor make barramundi a very versatile fish.  You can put all kinds of different sauces and spices on it.  I decided to go Greek with mine.  

I lightly sprinkled it the fillets with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them on a broiler pan.  While those were cooking, I made a simple topping with a little more olive oil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, capers and feta. I choose to serve the fillets over a bed of couscous and peas, but you could add any sides you like.  The dish was TASTY!  And so simple and quick.  The whole meal was ready in under 20 minutes!  Just hoping that my next seafood variety attempt turns out as well.

Barramundi with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Capers & Feta

2 barramundi fillets with skin on, thawed
olive oil 
salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove minced garlic (approx. 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1/3 cup of feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400.

Sprinkle fillets with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place skin side up on a broiler pan.  Bake for 14 minutes or until fully cooked.

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic in a pan and turn heat to med high. Watch closely and stir occasionally until garlic starts to sizzle.  Add capers and sun-dried tomatoes to olive oil and garlic.  Stir to incorporate.   Cook for 1-2 minutes until thoroughly heated and set aside until ready to serve.

When fish is fully cooked (it should be opaque white and flaky throughout) remove from oven.  Peel the skin off and discard.  If the fish is fully cooked the skin will peel off very easily.  If the skin does not peel off easily cook the fillets a little longer.

Place fillets on serving dishes.  Spoon sun-dried tomato mixture over fillets.  Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over top and serve.

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