Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Savouring the festivities- Fish in Orange Reduction!!

Everyone this season seems to be baking some delectably rich cakes, pies and pastries! Ah the cinnamon-y coffee smell that permeates through the house while we bake in our delicious treats is so welcoming. I love it and I am sure every one of you reading me right now, do as well. And hence I don’t feel like writing about it at all. A baking marathon later, you actually are left with very little patience to sit and write about the same sugar cakes and cookies. But my oven is standing sturdy this season. It is allowing the tired baker in me to entertain my guests with a flashy dinner in seconds.

Yup, you guessed it. In this festive season of buttery baking, I am going to write about healthy savoury baking. It’s such an easy recipe, and takes absolutely no time to pull off this meal for a last minute visitor at your house. All you need to do is to keep a stacked up freezer with fresh fishes from the farmer’s market or haat, some fresh/frozen peas and oranges.

The premise of this meal lies on the freshness of the produce you buy. While peas frozen will not affect you, but a frozen fish definitely will. I added a bit of leafy freshness to the plate too in form of a 2 second recipe of wilted spinach and pea pureed with a hint of mint. The orange reduction just brings all of these flavours together, and how beautifully so. Its restaurant worthy dish, and friends of yours will remember it long after the plates are cleared.


Roasted Pomfret
2 Cleaned and fresh Pomfret fish
2 tart limes/lemons
Salt and pepper to taste
1 inch piece of peeled ginger
Olive oil

Pea Puree
1 cup Boiled pea
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Green chilly to taste
A handful of mint leaves
Olive oil

Wilted Spinach
A big handful of cleaned spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Orange Reduction
2 oranges zested and juiced
Salt and pepper
A teaspoon worth of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


We will start with the fish as it will take the most time to cook, but while that happens, we can get all the rest of the components ready.

Preheat you oven to 180 degree C.

Salt and pepper the fishes thoroughly and set it aside for 5 minutes to marinade.

Slice the lime and ginger in thin rounds. Put these rounds in the pocket of the fish with some olive oil massaged on the meat. Now transfer the fish onto an oiled baking sheet and oil the top generously.  

Roast the fishes at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The time of cooking would depend on the size of the fish. So on the 15 minute mark, check the meaty part of one of the fishes. If the meat is all white, it’s done. Any streak of red means it needs another couple of minutes to be cooked.

Once the fish hits the oven, get a pan on medium heat with some olive oil and finely chopped garlic. Let these both come up to the temperature together. Once hot, cluster on the cleaned, chopped spinach, and let it wilt uncovered. Salt and pepper to taste. I keep it a bit crunchy, that’s why I never chop the spinach too small, but I wait for the water in the spinach to dry up. It takes me about 2 to 3 minutes to reach the kind of crunchiness I like.

Now put all pea puree ingredients in a blender and blend up till it reaches the puree texture you like. I microwave my fresh peas, adding most minimum water as possible. I puree it without eliminating the water. As my blender is really old, I blend the puree in parts. First goes in the garlic and green chilli, then mint; and finally the peas. I don’t blend the olive oil in the machine. Instead I like to topple out the puree in a serving bowl, and mix salt, pepper and oil by folding with a spatula.  

Juicing fresh oranges can be a bit time consuming, so I normally get one of my guests to come in the kitchen with me to help with juicing. Fresh orange juice hits the pan on a medium heat, and let it bubble to reduce to half its quantity. Once there, take it off the heat and season to your taste with salt, pepper and Extra virgin olive oil. Whisk it well to emulsify. In case your reduction turns bitter, balance it out with some sugar a fresh lemon juice. Mine didn’t and it was perfect as it was.  

And just like that, an epic dinner is made- Simple, elegant and delicious! I really hope you give it a try, following all my tips and tricks. Cheers!!

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