Rockfish and Sweet Potato Thai Red Curry

My husband and I are spending a lot of time curled up at home waiting for our son to arrive. Any day now, kid, any day. The major preparations are done, so now we wait. Growing this baby has made me generally repulsed by seafood, which is extremely unfortunate in my line of work. I am told that my old food preferences will return shortly, and I look forward to treating myself to some sushi as soon as they do. This curry still appeals to me. My love of all things curry combined with the mild flavor of the rock cod makes this particular fish dish not only acceptable, but crave-worthy.  I used my go-to red curry base and added sweet potatoes to the mix to use some of the fall produce that is starting to appear in my CSA box. You can use any sort of squash if sweet potatoes aren’t your thing.

 

Rockfish and Sweet Potato Thai Red Curry

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp light brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for serving

1 Tbsp corn or peanut oil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 lb of rockfish fillet, pin-bones removed and cut into 1 inch pieces (The mount of fish in a half share)

1 handful of torn Thai basil (Regular basil works in a pinch.)

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves and stems

Steamed rice for serving

 

1. In a blender, combine the shallots, garlic, and curry paste with 1/8 cup water and blend until smooth.

2. In a bowl, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

3. In a large pot with a lid over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the curry base and sweet potatoes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant and heated through. This should take about a minute.

4. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered, for four minutes.

5. Add the cubed fish to the sauce and cover, cooking for five to eight minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flaky and the sweet potatoes are soft.

5. Serve over rice and sprinkle with basil and cilantro. Garnish with additional lime wedges.

Enjoy!

 

Rockfish for the Davis Drop

Tuesday’s Davis drop will be getting hook-and-line blackgill rockfish! Click on the category below to see all past rockfish posts and recipes. There are also some great preparation ideas over in the recipe forum.

Cod meuniere

We are all familiar with sole meunière, the lemony buttery delicious and simple way to prepare sole. It is equally delicious with rockfish, or any other firm white fish that you can find. It is traditionally prepared using a whole fish, but adapting the basic technique for use with fillets makes this an easy dinner.

 

Cod meunière

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

salt and pepper

1 lb of cod fillets, skin-off, pin-bones removed (The amount of fish in a half share.)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Approximately 3 small lemons.)

1 tablespoon chapped fresh parsley

 

1. Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow dish.

2. Dry the cod fillets with paper towels and lightly salt both sides.

3. Dredge the fillets in the flour mixture and set aside.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until the butter begins to turn golden brown. Add the parsley to the butter.

5. Place the fillets in the hot butter and parsley. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.

6. Turn the fillets carefully using two spatulas and cook for an additional 2 minutes. The goal is to remove the fish from the pan while it is slightly undercooked, it will finish cooking while it rests. Remove the fillets to a warm plate.

7. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice to the pan. Stir together briefly before adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook until the foaming subsides and immediately pour the sauce over the fillets. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Black Gill Rockfish aka Sebastes melanostomus

This week the Davis drop will be getting black gill rockfish, caught by hook-and-line and landed in Ft. Bragg. Finally. I have been trying to get hook-and-line rockfish for a VERY long time. 14 months or so. Victory!

There is lots of helpful geeky information out there on the many many species of rockfish that are available in our local fisheries. This species identifying guide from NOAA is fun and the black gill rockfish can be found on page 17.

There are at least 70 varieties of rockfish that populate the waters between Washington and Baja California. Due to the high number of varieties and conflicting info on fishery health, navigating rockfish sustainability can be tricky. Many of the usual best resources are too vague to be useful in making decisions about specific varieties of rockfish. They have to be that vague to be useful in a restaurant or at a fish counter. You will probably never know the specific variety of rockfish that you are buying at a fish counter or a restaurant.

These fish were caught by hook-and-line, so they are unanimously rated a good choice by all of the rating systems that I could find. The first step in narrowing down sustainability for fish that is not so clearcut is determining the method of catch. We are all good there. This gets muddier and harder to navigate when we look to the second issue, population health. The tricky part with rockfish is figuring out exactly which species you are dealing with. This usually takes some digging, unless you have access to the fish and game tag, which I do. These fish are Sebastes melanostomus, and while they are not black rockfish, which are widely considered to have the healthiest population levels, they are not a variety that has any specific concerns in regard to overfishing. There are some varieties of rockfish that are known to have depressed populations, and this is not one of them.

So, while I cannot find a specific source that says that this fish is a big old GREEN in terms of sustainability, I think that supporting a small fishing operation that is using a preferred fishing method trumps any lingering small concerns that might exist about fishery health. The black gill rock fish population is healthy AND the fishing method does not result in a high level of bycatch. This is a fish we can feel good about, and I am so glad that we finally get to have it.