Monday, August 15, 2011

Fried White Fish with Quinoa

I surprised myself about a week ago with a new recipe that turned out more nicely than I could have hoped. I've thought about holding off posting this recipe until the next time I make it, but since it's about time I posted a new recipe, and since I probably won't be making this again for at least a couple of weeks (I forgot a few of the ingredients at the store this week and I'll be out of town next week), I figured I might as well put it up. I am sure to make it soon after I get back, though, because I have been craving it ever since I finished it off! I'll add a picture to this post at that point. (Updated 9/17/11 with picture!)

It was one of those nights when I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner until I meandered into the kitchen about an hour before dinnertime to check out what ingredients I had handy. (I am usually more of a planner than this, but these days happen to the best of us, right?) So, I had some white fish in the freezer... some mushrooms... some capers left over from another recipe... some quinoa in the pantry, and other random products that I usually have hanging around the kitchen. I peaked at for some inspiration, and saw something about fish with capers and tomatoes. All I had was diced tomatoes... Could all those ingredients come together somehow? I donned my "Chopped" thinking cap, and the recipe below was born. I honestly couldn't believe how well the flavors combined and how much I liked it. If you try it, let me know what you think! (And put me in my place if you disagree with my taste buds... but I am practically drooling right now thinking about this.)


1 ½ lbs. white fish (I used 3 skai fillets)
3/8 c. brown rice flour
3/8 c. powdered Parmesan cheese*
¼ tsp. pepper
1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ c. milk (or milk substitute)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg
vegetable oil (enough for frying)

1 c. quinoa
1 ½ c. chicken broth**
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
¼ c. capers, drained

2 c. chopped mushrooms
1 c. chopped onions
½ tbs. butter or oil

1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, broth, tomatoes, and capers. Bring to a boil, lower heat; cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. (If this sits for a while or even completely cools, it should still taste fine. I actually preferred it that way.)
2. While quinoa is cooking, combine milk, egg, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Then on a large plate or in a large bowl, combine flour, cheese, pepper, and thyme. If fish is soggy (as it will be if frozen and defrosted), pat dry with a paper towel. Dip the fish in the liquid mixture, then coat with the flour and cheese mixture.
3. In a large saucepan, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan by about a quarter or half an inch. Fry fish until the breading is golden brown, and fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. (Cook time will vary depending on type and thickness of fish, but should be around 3-5 minutes per side.)
4. In a separate pan, saute mushrooms and onions in ½ tbs. butter or oil until crisp-tender (about 3 minutes).
5. Plate by placing a serving of quinoa down, then a portion of fish, then topping with mushrooms and onions. Enjoy!

*Sorry... While this recipe is low on dairy, it is not totally dairy-free. The cheese definitely adds a lot to this dish in my opinion, but if you can't have it, I would try using about this much more rice flour, cornmeal, or some other grain flour, and adding ½ to 1 tsp. salt.
**This is the main reason I didn't post this recipe right away... I think the liquid here needed adjustment. I used 2 cups of broth, and it was a bit too watery. If you want a more accurate measurement, I would drain the juice from the diced tomatoes into a measuring cup, add it to the pot, and then reduce the 2 cups of broth by that amount. (I'm estimating the tomato liquid would be about ½ a cup, hence my 1 ½ cups of broth recommendation above.)