Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Greek plaki-style snapper and zucchini recipe

Greek plaki-style snapper and zucchini, adapted from The Olive and the CaperI don't cook fish very often, even though I really enjoy it when I do. Perhaps it's because I feel odd eating fish in the middle of Michigan, after spending the first 17 years of my life within 60 miles of the ocean. More recently, I've neglected fish because it's hard to find sustainable options in the Lansing area (unless you're willing to shell out the big bucks). But as I was walking through Whole Foods in Ann Arbor last week trying to find the remaining gluten-free flours that do not exist in the Lansing area, I noticed that they had snapper on sale, and it looked amazing. I brought some home, not quite sure what it would become.

I had already decided to make this month's cookbook of the month "The Olive and the Caper" by Susanna Hoffman. As you might guess from the title, this book is filled with Greek recipes, as well as stories and histories of Greece and Greek food. My dad found this book for me for my birthday last year, and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since. I just didn't feel right making Greek food in the winter, although this might be because I've only been to Greece in June, and remember sweating quite profusely. It was originally going to be the cookbook of the month for July, but given that I was just figuring out how to do the whole gluten-free thing, I thought I should wait a little while to start experimenting with a new cuisine. Plus, I really wanted to make phyllo dough from the book's recipe, and that was obviously out (and after some reading, it looks like it's virtually impossible to reconstruct with gluten-free flours).

But now I've stocked up my pantry, feel more comfortable making gluten-free substitutions, and am ready to try some of the non-phyllo recipes in this book. I was delighted to find a recipe that combined the snapper with zucchini and tomatoes that I had from the market.

Greek plaki-style snapper and zucchini (adapted from "The Olive and the Caper" by Susanna Hoffman)

1 lb. skinned snapper filets (or other type of fish)
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 leek, white and light-green parts thinly sliced and washed thoroughly
1 large zucchini, sliced thinly
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 cup white wine
3 egg yolks, whisked until frothy
juice of 1 large lemon

Season fish on both sides with juice of 1/2 lemon and salt, and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and cook for 2 min. Then stir in zucchini, tomatoes, sage, and wine. Saute until the zucchini is tender (6-8 min). Then put the fish into the skillet, covering it with some of the veggies. Cover the skillet and cook until the fish gets flaky (mine took 10 min, but it will depend on the type and thickness of fish). Remove the fish and veggies from the pan, leaving the sauce behind, and set aside. Mix the egg yolks and lemon together, and then whisk this into the sauce in the skillet. Let cook over low heat until sauce is thickened (about 5 min). Pour the sauce over the fish and veggies. Serves 4.

This was a really good way to cook fish - it came out perfectly flaky, but still very moist. The veggies were also very good, and the tomatoes melted into the sauce nicely. The only change that I would make next time is to slightly reduce the amount of lemon added to the pan sauce. I know it's supposed to be lemony (it is Greek, after all), but it slightly overpowered the other flavors. Overall, though, I really enjoyed it. The other nice thing is that this seems to reheat fabulously, unlike many fish recipes.

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