Saturday, October 16, 2010

Barramundi with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

You might have noticed that I've sort of taken a break from the blog the past few months as I got terribly busy, but in that time I spent a good deal of time thinking about what sort of direction I wanted to go with the blog. Though I really enjoyed writing about our international nights I have been thinking a lot lately about healthy eating. For now at least, I 've decided that I want to focus on fresh, seasonal and healthful meals.

When I was in St. Louis a few weeks ago I saw packets of frozen Barramundi fillets. They looked great and I don't think that I've ever had Barramundi before so I went ahead and got them. This week, when I saw an article in the Huffington Post about the sustainability of Barramundi I decided it was time to get my blog up and going again.
There has been much ink spilled about the sustainability of the fishing industry. Many of varieties of fish that we most enjoy have been greatly over fished lately, and the growth of fish farms has also led to the spread of various diseases. Apparently, Barramundi which originates from south east Asia might be more sustainable. Feel free to check out the article: The Anti-Salmon: A Fish We Can Finally Farm Without Guilt. When I saw the article I decided the time had come to begin blogging again and thawed my Barramundi fillets.
I subsequently found a great recipe for Barramundi Fillets with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprout Chips from the October 2009 issue of Bon Appétit Magazine. Fish is great for you, as it's loaded with omga 3 fatty acids, sweet potatoes are considered a super-food and its all very seasonal for the fall.

1 sm. shallot, minced (1 1/2 tsp.)
3 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/4 tsp. grated lime peel
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 lbs sweet potatoes
5 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. thyme
pinch grated nutmeg
1/4 whole milk
8 oz. brussels sprout leaves
4 6 oz barramundi fillets

Combine the minced shallot, 1 tsp. lime juice, lime zest, vinegar and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Set aside.
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Roast in a 450*F oven for 1 hour, turning halfway through. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature, scoop out the meet and put in the food processor or blender. Add milk, thyme, nutmeg, remaining lime juice and salt and pepper; blend until smooth. This can be done a couple of days in advance and reheated.

Meanwhile, prep the brussels sprouts. I found this process to be a little tedious, but totally do-able. Wash the sprouts and trim off the base, this will help to release the leaves. Then I cut the sprouts in half, cut out the little core and pulled off the rest of the leaves the best I could. I was probably a little more fastidious about getting all the leaves I could from this as I didn't want to waste any. I would recommend being less fastidious and saving the rest of the brussels sprouts to make later in the week.

Once you have pulled-off the leaves, toss with olive oil salt and pepper and roast in a 450*F oven for 15 minutes. The goal of this is really to get the leaves nice and crispy so don't get too nervous, they just won't all be nice and green when you pull them out. I was a little worried that mine might have gotten too well done, but Scott who doesn't much care for brussels sprouts went back for more.

While the brussels sprouts are in the oven, melt your butter in the pan. As always, make sure this gets nice and hot and make sure to dry your fish so that it can get nicely browned. Season your fish with salt and pepper and place in the butter in the hot pan. The fish should take no more than 15-20 minutes, turning once. You certainly want to make sure that the fillets are opaque through, but you don't want to over cook either as they will become dry.
Plate with the fillets beside the potatoes. Spoon a little vinaigrette over both the fish and potatoes, then sprinkle with crisp brussels sprout leaves.

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