Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cod Steamed in Banana Leaf with Onions, Capers and Tomato Sauce





     Mediterranean Style Food For Summer! 
     Today's Mediterranean style steamed fish entrée is delicious, impressive and easy to prepare!  This saucy steamed fish can be served as a light meal or as a shared appetizer.  After the fish is steamed with tomato sauce in a banana leaf, the fish is so tender that it easily flakes apart.  The result is fish that is smothered with a tasty sauce that is best when served with crusty bread.  Casually eating spoonfuls of the saucy fish on bread while sipping on wine makes for a nice summer sunset dining experience!
     Atlantic Cod is endangered and it is not sustainable.  Many Cod species worldwide have been heavily fished, so it is best to check the sustainability status before purchasing any Cod species.  Pacific Ling Cod was used to make the recipe photo example a few years ago.  Ling Cod has been in sustainable numbers in recent years.
 
     Onions, Capers and Tomato Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 2/3 cups.  
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil.
     Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic turns a golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 3/4 cup of thin sliced onion.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
     Bring the wine to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Add 1 1/4 cups of small chopped peeled seeded overripe plum tomatoes.
     Add 3/4 cup of tomato puree.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 2 teaspoons of capers. 
     Add 1 tablespoon of torn Italian Parsley leaves.
     Add 2 pinches of Herbs de Provence.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 5:  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil,
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the excess liquid evaporates and the sauce is a medium thick consistency.
     Step 6:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of virgin olive oil while stirring.
     Keep the sauce warm over vey low heat.
     
     Cod Steamed in Banana Leaf with Onions, Capers and Tomato Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée (or an appetizer for 2 guests). 
     Step 1:  Heat a chargrill or wide griddle to a medium temperature.
     Soften a 14" x 14" piece of banana leaf by briefly heating both sides on the grill or griddle.
     *Heating the banana leaf will cause it to wilt, so it can easily be folded.
     Step 2:  Place the softened banana leaf on a countertop.
     Place an 8 to 10 ounce cod filet on the center of the banana leaf.
     Lightly season the fish with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Spoon about 1 cup of the Onions, Capers and Tomato Sauce over the fish.  (Keep the rest of the sauce warm till later in the recipe.)
     Step 4:  Fold the banana leaf so it completely seals in the fish and sauce.
     Step 5:  Place the banana leaf envelope on a steamer rack in a steamer pot.
     Place a heavy spoon on top of the banana leaf to prevent it from opening up.
     Cover the steam basket with a lid.
     Steam the banana leaf package till the cod is fully cooked.  (About 10 minutes.  A probe thermometer should read 165ºF.)
     Step 6:  Carefully use a spatula and fingers to place the banana leaf package on a plate.
     *Steamed banana leaves can be tender enough to split apart, so handle the banana leaf package with care!  
     Step 7:  Open the banana leaf package.
     Trim off any excess banana leaf or fold the excess banana leaf under itself.
     Step 8:  Smother the steamed cod with the remaining Onions, Capers and Tomato Sauce.
     Place a small tomato rose garnish on the plate.  (optional)
     Serve with plenty of sliced French bread on the side.
 
     The best way to served this saucy steamed cod is to set the plate on the center of the table with plenty of sliced french bread, so guests can simply dig in.  This is casual Mediterranean comfort food!

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