quick-braised fish with lettuce

I hadn’t been planning on posting anything interesting until later this month, but a recipe worked out really well tonight and it seemed like such a shame not to share it.

I don’t cook fish very often. I should cook it more but I have a tendency to make it the same way all the time – bake it in a foil packet with some olive oil, salt, and some seasoning that comes in a Penzeys’ jar. That gets boring.

In an effort to eat more veggies and to clean out my freezer, I set out a 9oz fillet of mahi mahi to defrost. But then what?  What sort of greens do I pair it with?

Looking for inspiration, I grabbed the May 2012 issue of Everyday Food magazine, went straight to the recipe index, and let my eyes fall on their “quick-braised salmon and lettuce.”

Hmmm… it sounded promising.

Promising was an understatement.  It was delicious! And just as satisfying was the fact that I prepped and cooked it in a very reasonable amount of time. About 30 minutes, I think?  I don’t know – I chatted with my roommate a bit and still turned this dinner out quickly.

Here’s what I did:

makes 2 servings (or one very large serving if you haven’t got anything else to eat *cough*)

two 4.5oz mahi mahi fillets (the original recipe was for 6oz fillets of salmon… which I don’t I could eat all in one sitting)
half a large onion, thinly chopped
two slices of preserved meyer lemon, finely diced
about 1T chopped dill, or less if you’d like
1 head of loose-leaved lettuce (I used Boston lettuce), end removed and the leaves sliced thickly
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper
one red bell pepper, roughly chopped

Heat up some olive oil and/or butter in a pot, enough to cook up the onions. Cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the white wine, the diced preserved lemon, and the fish. You can salt and pepper the fish before adding it to the pot, but the overall result was a tiny, tiny bit salty for me because of the preserved lemons. (And I have a habit of purposely under-salting when I cook for myself.)  Next time, I think I will just pepper the fish.

Cover the pot and set it cook for 3 minutes. You can reduce the heat if you need to. After 3 minutes, add all the lettuce. Cover and let this cook 9 minutes more. If you’re using frozen dill, add it during the last couple of minutes. Otherwise, you can garnish with dill when everything is done cooking.

I plated the bell pepper, raw. On top of that, I placed the fish. I gave the lettuce and onions a good stir, before putting it on the plate and serving.

And that is it.  It was that easy.  And because you’re braising the fish, the is more wiggle room with your cooking time.  It won’t be all nasty and overcooked.

The recipe is definitely a keeper in my kitchen.  (^_^)


Note – my preserved meyer lemons?  I made them, following the general guidelines from a recipe on the Food Wishes blog…
(I am of the opinion that you need to add the juice of one or two lemons for this recipe.  It just never seemed to produce enough liquid to cover the slices on its own.)


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