Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - Sunny Citrus

Short of a trip to Florida, California or Hawaii, the best way I know to deal with the winter grays here in the Midwest is to throw a little sunshine into my food. Or a lot. The old zester got quite a workout today from a good variety of citrus. Both Blood oranges and Meyer lemons are available right now in addition to naval oranges and bright plump limes. But what to make? Desserts were the most obvious choice but I wanted something easy and quick for a main dish.I settled on stuffed Red Snapper with Mango Blood Orange Salsa. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Stuff a whole snapper (scaled and gutted) with sliced onion, cilantro, orange & lime zest, and salt and pepper. Drizzle the stuffed cavity with a little white wine, then drizzle the outside of the fish with olive oil.Then wrap your fish. You can choose between aluminum foil, parchment or even banana leaves. Depending on how big your fish is, cook 25 to 30 minutes or until the meatiest part of the flesh pulls away from the bones.

While your fish cooks in it's banana leaf snuggie, dice one mango, half an onion, and the flesh of one blood orange. Mix in the juice of a lime and a blood orange and add a handful of cilantro. Drizzle the mixture with a bit of olive oil and season with sea salt. Chill until the fish has finished cooking.Flake the moist fish from the bones and top with salsa. To accompany my fish I quickly steamed some kale until it was just tender then shocked it in cold water to stop the cooking process and keep that beautiful green color. I set it aside while I melted some butter in a saucepan. I added some finely minced shallots to the butter and cooked until they were softened. To that I added a scope full of the water the kale was steamed in and a healthy pour of white wine. You want to reduce that down to at least half. Once that was done I then added the juice of one Meyer lemon and a bit more butter and let that reduce again until it slighty thickens. I drained the kale, squeezing as much water from the greens as I could. Next I roughly chopped the greens and added them to the pan, mixing the sauce and the kale together thoroughly. Serve those luscious greens immediately.
Hello Sunshine. Where have you been? The mango/Blood orange salsa sinks it's juicy roots deep into the mild moist red snapper flesh. The salsa seesaws between the sweetness of the mango, the grapefruit like sourness of the orange, and the bite of the onion. And the kale? The kale's strong bitterness is calmed by the almost sweet-like Meyer lemon sauce. That sauce goes into the data bank to try on other vegetables. A healthy and flavorful meal popping with citrus goodness. Thank you Florida and California for making my gray world just a little brighter.

28 comments:

Buzz Kill said...

Well, I've got nothing this week. I did eat an orange and slice a lime for the Mrs' Corona today, but that's it for the citrus.

The salsa looks really good and it's interesting how white the out side of the snapper got compared to the pre-cooked color. Did you leave the stuffing inside the fish because I can't tell from the finished picture. It looks pretty healthy too. Nice job.

Big Shamu said...

Thanks Buzz, however I think a lime in the neck of a Corona would have been totally appropriate for a Dim Sum post, really sometimes simple is best.

I did not eat the stuffing, it was more to flavor the fish. However I'd love to stuff a fish like this with potatoes and olives. Yum.

Big Shamu said...

Be sure to check out MS's blog, she's up with her healthy citrus choice.

moi said...

I was out this week because of travel. To Michigan. In which case, I really needed this post. And your photos are so pretty!

Big Shamu said...

Thanks Moi, definitely a break from snow and road slush.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hey Sham! BEAUTIFUL photos, as per usual. Pointed the first one in particular out to hubby with a "look, LOOK! This is how I want MY photos to look! haha!" Soon, soon...

Anyway, LOVE the Meyer lemon sauce and of course the blood orange mango salsa are right up my alley. I just bought some Meyer lemons so will try the sauce as I'm being inundated with greens and broccoli raabe tonight that the sauce would have really suited.

I've not seen any blood oranges at the stupid Publix though and was just looking for about them the other day....if I don't ask for them, I never see them. They don't really grow too much in Florida (although some are grown here) Most are from California.

Where did you get the banana leaves? Looks very nice and green. Did you blanch it first? I find it helps them not to tear.

Great job and I'm up! Happy DSS!!

Big Shamu said...

Diva, the banana leaves were in the frozen section at my favorite Asian market. I didn't realize how HUGE they were. Now I'm looking for more recipes to use them.
Those Meyer lemons are gorgeous. Their color alone put a smile on my face.
Actually I'm more of a naval orange fan, love the smell and the sweetness but the drama of red juice of the Blood orange is hard to resist. (damn the photographer in me).

Happy Dim Sum Diva!

Making Space said...

Wow that is so beautiful! I'm totally amazed that you found banana leaves in any form in your neck of the woods - must have taken some scouring. Wow! That dish looks like all kinds of sunshiny flavors - wow. Tour de force Shamu. Gor.geous. Thanks for plugging mine, which was really simple and tons of fun, and then we dashed off to a kiddie fun afternoon.

Big Shamu said...

Actually I know of two place to get the banana leaves, the Asian place and the big grocery store that has made it's primary focus the Hispanic community.

Yes, yours was simple, which I like but had Buzz gone through with his idea, he would have won the Simply the Best award.

Making Space said...

That's great that you have two sources for banana leaves.

Totally agree with the Buzz Award. I'm picturing him and Mrs. Buzz sitting on lawn chairs looking tanned and fit as they gaze out at the.... snow? Heehee

Big Shamu said...

By the way, Dani over at Gardening Under the Florida Sun is up with her Big Ass Citrus Cake. I gained a pound on each hip just looking at it.

Boxer said...

really great photos.

Dani said...

I love yours Shamy! So pretty with all those colors in the salsa. Great job!!

Yes, it is a BIG ASS citrus cake. I had just a small slice since I noticed the other day my size 10s are getting just a wee bit snug.

Big Shamu said...

Thanks Dani. Small slices are good. Let the Hubs eat the big slices. Good thing I'm not there because I'd have to take a moderate to Big Ass slice for myself.

Joanna Cake said...

Ruf uses oranges, lemons and limes a lot in his vegan recipes and I've been converted. They really set off so many flavours.

Big Shamu said...

Joanne, in my research I hit on a lot of vegan recipes making great use of citrus. I love their versatility.

LaDivaCucina said...

Besides, you folk in snow states need your citrus to ward off scurvy, don't you? haha!

Sham, the Columbians make their tamales in banana leaves instead of corn husks like the Mexicans. You'll LOVE the succulence it adds, so much "wetter" than foil or paper to bake in. I was thinking of making a fish marinated in coconut milk, Thai flavors, lemongrass, kaffir lime....

Going over to Dani's to check our her Big ASS cake! haha!

Dani said...

Would any fish work with this recipe Shamy? Or do you like the red snapper best?

Big Shamu said...

Just about any round fish (as opposed to flounder and other flat fish) that has a body cavity that will allow a stuffing. Stripped bass, catfish, smallish salmon and the like work well. Depends what's available in your area and your area should be crawling with choices. GO FOR IT!

Dani said...

This cold has been rough on the fish. We're seeing lots of dead ones washing up everywhere. :( I think Florida forgot that it was supposed to be sunny and warm...

intuitive eggplant said...

Gorgeous photos, Shamu! How do you always read my mind? Before you posted, I picked up 10 blood oranges and 2 Meyer lemons that are still hankering for my attention. Will have to figure out something between a busy work week and preparations for Third Annual Beach Blanket Birthday Bash here in Ohio (seafood will be involved). Gotta beat these mid-winter, mid-western blahs any way we can, right?

Eggy

Big Shamu said...

Amen Sista Eggy. I've been letting naval oranges hang out around the house because they smell SO good. We do what we can to get by.

LaDivaCucina said...

Another savory use of citrus is to pair oranges or blood oranges with fennel in salad, great combo. And I've made a blood orange hollandaise sauce before but then again, with all the butter and eggs in that, you might as well make the lime squares!

MLou said...

Your photos are fantastic and the results look worth the effort.
I didn't have time to photograph my sunday meal but your theme inspired it: haddock fillet/lemon lime packets with a kiwi/blood orange/red pepper salsa on spinach topped with leftover maple whisky dressing. Sweet potato fries on the side.

Big Shamu said...

Sweet Potatoes!! I was trying to think of another side to go with my meal that would have been easy AND in the house and sweet potatoes would have been perfect.

So glad we're inspiring something MLou.

intuitive eggplant said...

Yes, Diva! In my blood orange research I came upon Sauce Maltaise (aka blood orange Hollandaise) and thought to myself, "Eggy, how could you not have heard of this before?" Sounds right up my tastebuds' alley.

It is now on the menu for some mutation of Eggs Benedict with asparagus for this weekend's Ohio beach party, although I plan to make the sauce in the blender (like I make my Bernaise) rather than the full-blown double-boiler version. More stable and fool-proof - and better suited to cabin camping, I think.

LaDivaCucina said...

Thanks IE, I've made the blood orange hollandaise a few times and served it over grilled or poached salmon, it's divine! (but subtle)

Big Shamu said...

droooollllllllllllll