Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Almond Crusted Orange Roughy with Lemony Leek Sauce

Whew! That's a mouthful of a title, isn't it? Nah, I didn't dream it up. Phillis Carey did, and in the cooking class she laughed at herself and how she titles recipes she's developed. She wants to make sure you know at the outset exactly what kind of good stuff is going to be included in the recipe.

Here's a shot of the classroom at Great News, in Pacific Beach (San Diego). It's by far the most glamorous and functional demonstration class kitchen I've ever seen. Six large screens are mounted above so you won't miss anything of the prep going on below.

Here's another shot of the other side of the classroom. Phillis is the chef up front in red.

So, what's the deal about this fish dish? The lemon leek sauce is the clincher. Absolutely wonderful. This can be made with any kind of mild white fish. Or even chicken. But the lemony piquant flavor lends itself very well to fish.

Phillis poured a bunch of sliced almonds in a big plastic bag and used her flat pounder to crunch the almonds. Do not use a food processor as it will make the almonds too much like meal. You want chunky, crunchy. You dip the fish in flour, egg, then the almond/parsley/lemon zest mixture, then pan fry it in a tiny bit of oil until done. Meanwhile you will have made the sauce first - leeks, butter, lemon juice and whipping cream. Oh yea. Whipping cream. This is a company-type meal; certainly not something you'd want to serve for everyday family cooking. The leek sauce is pureed in a blender, then you sieve it to remove the leeks. Use a medium gauge sieve; otherwise you'll never get the sauce to strain through.

Cook's Notes: be sure to dry off the fish fillets before you start dredging. If using a thicker kind of fish, like halibut, for instance, do the frying process, but just brown the fish, then put them on a parchment-lined pan in a 375 oven for 15 minutes. Thicker fish is harder to cook correctly in a pan saute. You can make the sauce ahead of time, but the dredging and frying have to be done at the last minute. Oh yes, and don't use a food processor for the almonds. If you are in a hurry to puree the leek sauce, be very careful because a hot sauce will explode right out of the blender. Best advice: puree in two smaller batches instead of just one.

Almond Crusted Orange Roughy with Lemony Leek Sauce
Recipe By: Phillis Carey, author & instructor
Serving Size : 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks -- halved, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lemon juice -- fresh
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sliced almonds -- finely chopped
6 tablespoons Italian parsley -- chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel -- using a Microplane
4 large orange roughy fillets
2 whole eggs -- lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter -- for frying the fish
1. LEEK SAUCE: use only white and light green parts of the leeks, halve them, rinse well, then chop. Cook leeks in 2 T. butter over medium heat until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice and stir until liquid evaporates. Mix in cream. Simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes, maybe longer. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour in batches into blender and puree until smooth. Strain the sauce, using a coarse strainer, back into the saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. DREDGING MIXTURE: if you're using sliced almonds, place them in a plastic bag and using a pounder, hit nuts until they're reduced to a coarse mince. Do not use the food processor for this, as the nuts will be too fine. Mix almonds, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste in a pie plate. Place flour on a plate and eggs in another pie plate. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg, then in almond mixture to coat.
3. FISH: Melt half of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of fish to pan and cook 3 minutes per side or until cooked in the center and brown on the outside. Repeat with remaining butter and fish. Reheat sauce and spoon a bit over, and the rest around fillets to serve.
Per Serving: 695 Calories; 59g Fat (74.2% calories from fat); 30g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 249mg Cholesterol; 233mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 11 Fat.
Printer-friendly recipe, click title at top.


Toffeeapple said...

All of my favourite ingredients here. This sounds like an elegant dish; I'll try it the next time I have company

Carolyn T said...

It is an elegant entree. Hope you enjoy it!

Martin Family said...

HI, I came across your blog by chance when I was looking for help in figuring out paragraph spacing on my own blog. I am not usually so bold as to ask a stranger, but I have spent hours trying to figure this out & I saw your post in the help discussions and was wondering if you ever figured out how to make spaces between your paragraphs. I hit enter twice and it looks great while I am previewing my own post and then when I hit publish post, there are no spaces or line breaks and it's all jumbled together on my blog. please reply if you have had any answers to this, thanks

Carolyn T said...

Martin Family - well, I can't say that I've "solved" the problem. Sometimes when I post, everything is jumbled up, as you have mentioned. More often, for me, blogger inserts extra spaces between paragraphs, which drives me up a tree. Every time I upload a photo to my blog (and I already have a written post in the box) it forces an extra line of space between all the paragraphs, so I have to go delete them all before posting. Also, once I save a post (with a photo) and I go back in a day or two later to tell blogger to post it, or edit it, it forces more paragraph spaces again, so I have to delete them all over again.

For me, once I bring up a post I'm about to publish, I quick like a bunny delete spaces and try to post it before the AutoSave function kicks in. That seems to cause problems for me too if I don't.

The only solution I did find is to use the br code (I can't use the actual code here because blogger won't accept this comment if I do). If you use br (break) you can use continuous copy (your sentences in your blog) and insert the br wherever you want a paragraph break. But, it's an absolute pain in the neck to do since I compose multiple paragraphs for each posting I do. Meaning that I have to go into the code of each post and delete and insert the br's everywhere. I long ago gave up on that. Hence sometimes I have problems. It baffles me that blogger can't fix this problem, but nobody seems to be interested.

But, since you don't have lots and lots of copy on your blog, you might find that solution worthwhile. You might try it, anyway.

Actually, I'm migrating my blog over to my own domain name sometime soon, and am using WordPress, which is a much more interesting and intuitive program for blogging. But blogger is really very functional and more user friendly than WordPress - except for the niggling problems they won't fix (there are others too).

Email me separately if you want other dialogue about this. ctndt at cox dot net.

Carolyn T said...

More to Martin Family - sorry, I forgot to mention that using WordPress, I've not had this problem at all. At the moment I'm running concurrent blogs on both sites until I have the new one functioning perfectly. Oh, and I went to look at your blog - it's LOVELY. You're doing a great job, and you've certainly figured out lots of widgets on the side, etc. But I truly commiserate with you about the paragraph spacing. It's a pain in the you-know-what.