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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red Snapper with Gingered Butternut Squash Sauce

I had some butternut squash soup and fork mashed potatoes as leftovers the other day in the fridge:

Adapting the soup to make a sauce to accompany fish is really quite easy and you can pretty much do this with any puréed vegetable soup (carrot, pea, etc.).

I love having leftover mashed potatoes because they are always an easy way to help round out a meal.  I shape them and fry them up in a little clarified butter*.  This works really well for breakfast too.

Cooking the fish properly is probably the most difficult part of this recipe.  Once you know how to do it, this becomes a very easy meal to prepare.  We learned how to cook fish in cooking school and I have to admit that sometimes I try to shortcut the whole process.  This never works and the fish ends up sticking to the pan (even a non-stick pan).  To do it right, all it takes is a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and your fish will color properly and never stick.  This only takes a few minutes to prepare and is well worth the effort.  Here is a video on how to make a perfect parchment paper round to fit your pan.

You will need:  for 4 servings 

For the Sauce:  

  • 1 cup (250ml) of leftover butternut squash soup (or puréed soup of your choice)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) of fish stock (if your soup is very liquid - add a bit less stock)
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger (about 1 inch thick - 15g), peeled and cut into 3 equal pieces
  • 1 tbsp of cold butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put the soup (1 cup - 240ml), stock (3/4 cup - 180ml) and ginger (1 inch piece - 15g) in a saucepan and bring to a simmer;
  2. Reduce for 10 minutes;
  3. Remove the ginger and bring the sauce to a light boil;
  4. Add the cold butter and whisk to blend and thicken;
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning;
  6. Note:  The thickness of the sauce will depend on the texture of the soup you begin with.  The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.  If it is too liquid, you can thicken with a little cornstarch diluted in water added when soup is simmering (add the butter as the final step).
For the fish:
  • 400 - 500g (1 lb) of red snapper of white fish of your choice (about 2 large filets)
  • 1.5 tbsp of clarified butter*
  • Salt and pepper
*Clarified butter can be found in the dairy section of the supermarket (also called ghee).  Milk solids have been removed from the butter which, in turn, prevents it from burning.  You can also make your own - here's how: clarified butter
  1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the shape and size of you pan;
  2. Season the fish;
  3. Add the clarified butter (1.5 tbsp) and place the pan over medium high heat until the butter is melted;
  4. Add the fish to the pan, skin side down and cook until the skin becomes golden (about 2 -3 minutes) - most of the fish is cooked on one side and will just be flipped at the end to finish the cooking process (it will cook relatively fast);
  5. Turn the fish over, cook for another 30 seconds and remove the pan from the heat, let sit in warm pan for a few minutes;
  6. Place the potatoes on the plate, ladle the sauce around and top with the fish.  Add your choice of vegetables as garnish.

Shape mashed potatoes and cook until golden in clarified butter on medium heat.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

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