I was driving home from the pool last week and I called the hubby to ask what he wanted for dinner. Usually I get, “whatever you are in the mood for” or “whatever you think”, which drives me nuts, because sometimes I’m just out of ideas. So when Kaben responded, “I’d like a piece of fish served over a bed of potato puree and julienned vegetables” I was pleasantly surprised. This sounded like a delightful challenge and I had an idea. I started first with the fish, I used halibut steaks. You could use any light white flaky fish here. Then I went to my CSA (community supported agriculture) and picked up my bag of goodies – I might be the only person I know, that gets so excited for a bag of veggies – but I can never wait to see what will be in my bag each week! There were peppers and zucchini and squash and potatoes (to name a few). I didn’t even have to go to the grocery store for any extras. I just headed home with my ideas of a meal. The final product was a huge success and extremely easy. This easy recipe will be in my repertoire for a “fancy” mid week meal from here on out.
“Fancy” Mid Week Fish and Veggies
Serves a family of 5
For the fish:
4 halibut steaks
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried tarragon (fresh if you have it)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350. Oil the fish and add the salt, pepper and dried tarragon. Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork or is about 145 degrees internally. This takes about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your steaks.
6 potatoes, Yukon gold, red potatoes, russet – whatever you have will work
5 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half (plus more if needed)
salt and pepper
1. Peel potatoes (though this isn’t always necessary – for the “fancy” look we want our potatoes nice and smooth with no skins) and boil in lightly salted water until pierced easily with a fork. About 25 minutes.
2. When potatoes are done, drain in a colander, leaving a little water is OK – it’ll mix into the potatoes. Add the butter and the milk or cream. Don’t worry – the milk will mix into the potatoes even if you think it’ll be soupy. In fact, the more cream/ milk the better. I have used skim milk if I don’t have whole on hand and added a bit of sour cream to thicken it up. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix the potatoes on low. You can also use a potato masher – but there might be a few lumps (which I love!) whatever you do – don’t use the blender. That will turn your potatoes into glue and it doesn’t taste good! Salt and pepper to taste!
You can really use any veggie here – but it’s important that they cook around the same time. And if you have something that might take longer to cook (like carrots) make sure it’s a vegetable that tastes nice a little undercooked.
1 red pepper
1 yellow squash
1 tbsp. high quality olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
Wash and dry vegetables and cut off ends. I have a peeler that makes the vegetables into perfectly julienned pieces. If you don’t have this – cut the vegetables as thinly as you can into match- stick pieces.
Toss all of the vegetables into a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and a few grinds of salt.
Heat the butter on high in a frying pan. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add the vegetables and let them cook until the zucchini is just cooked through – about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings before serving.
Plate your food – start first with a dollop of potato puree, add the halibut and top with the sauteed vegetables. Serve with lemon wedges. For the kids – you can serve it all on the side if they don’t like their food touching! Enjoy with a nice glass of sauvignon blanc or an iced Arnie Palmer. Enjoy your delicious “fancy” meal on your patio and have a nice dinner with the family!