October 17, 2012

A fish dish

(Artwork by Andrea Mae Miller)

Cooking fish intimidates me and so do broilers, so I generally avoid both. Sunday night I was heading home from Union Square and found myself standing at a fish counter with one eye on fish filets and the other on the epicurious app.

In that crucial moment of seafood counter / iPhone app need, it pointed me to this Miso-Glazed Sea Bass with Asparagus. 8 ingredients, 12 minutes of cook time. It seemed like a good starting place.

The recipe calls for filets of fish with skin on, which I found is essential. They were out of sea bass, so I went with tilefish, which I have no previous experience cooking with. But I can say: if you're going to gamble on a white fish that isn't sea bass, tile fish is delicious. It's a firm, but meaty and mild whitefish.

Miso - Glazed Tilefish with Asparagus + Mushrooms (adapted from epicurious)
2 Tablespoons white miso (I used this kind)
1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon water
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
chunk of garlic (thumb sized), finely chopped
Olive oil for greasing pan
1-1.5 lbs of tilefish or sea bass (I'd estimate 6 oz per person, so for 4 people, you want 1.5 lbs)
1 pound thin asparagus
1/2 lb mushrooms (I used a combo of baby bellas + criminis from the W'burg farmers' market)
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
pinch of chili flakes

Preheat broiler and lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish (a cookie sheet with sides works well).

Cut your fish into the number of servings you are trying to make and lightly salt and oil both sides ont he pan, then place fish skin-side down. Whisk together the miso, sugar, lemon juice, water, pepper, garlic and ginger. You should have a paste-like consistency.

Wash + snap off ends of asparagus. Wash mushrooms and cut the larger ones in half. Coat veggies in sesame oil, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of chili pepper flakes.

Spread the miso paste all over the filet side of the fish. Spread the veggies evenly around the rest of the pan. Broil for 10-12 minutes, about 10 inches from the broiler. Make sure you check around 8-9 minutes to make sure the tops aren't scorching.

Note: the base of my recipe is the same as epicurious's, but I added more lemon and generous amounts of crushed garlic and ginger. I also added mushrooms to the pan alongside the asparagus. I also made a pan of these honey and soy glazed carrots, which I roasted (not boiled) for 45 minutes at 375 before putting the fish in, and also gave a good serving of chopped ginger. All in all, fear of broiler + fish combatted, husband happy, dinner delicious.