Friday, February 20, 2015

Fish and Clams

James and I have been rushing in opposite directions the last couple weeks barely touching down at home.
We finally sat down to dinner, with a visiting friend. No time for elaborate recipes but I wanted a dish that felt special (and impressed a guest) -- and fell into the very strict guideline of my latest "I've got to lose some weight" diet. UGH.
Where I landed was simple savory dish of seasonal halibut with leeks, mushrooms and clams. One pot, poaching broth, tons of flavor.
To start I sautéed thinly sliced leeks (2), beautiful local king oyster mushrooms, and garlic in a bit of olive oil. When the vegetables were soft -- about 7 minutes -- I splashed in a bit of wine. I only had red open which worked just fine with the halibut but normally I would have  used white. I let the wine evaporate away and added in 3 cups of chicken broth. I cheated a bit and added about 1TB of butter for some extra flavor. When the liquid was boiling I nestled my fish in the north, covered the pan and let the mixture steam over low heat for two minutes. The fish was particularly thick so it needed a little head start over the clams. After two minutes I added in the scrubbed Manilla clams (about 2 dozen) covered the pot and continued to cook over low heat fro 7 minutes until the clams had all opened and the fish was cooked through. I brought the broth dish, sprinkled with parsley, to the table along with steamed jasmine rice -- for those still allowed to eat carbs -- and a fresh green salad.
James loves clams but he is not a big fish eater. I was blown away by his reaction to this fish dinner. He loved it, as did our guest. This may be my new go to diet friendly dinner for guests. I'm already plotting versions with snapper and shrimp, delicate tomato sauces and harissa spiked broth.

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