Friday, December 18, 2009

Barefoot love...

The Food Network chef whose style I can relate to the most is the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten). She loves to entertain friends and cook for her husband but doesn't like complicated recipes or spending more time fussing over the meal than with those she is cooking it for. Her mustard roasted fish is a classic example of something that looks and tastes more extravagant than it is. I make it all the time served with rice and veggies. It literally takes about ten minutes to prep and another 15 minutes to roast. If you start your rice and veggies before you start the fish, everything should be ready to serve together in about a half hour tops!

There are a few adjustments I make when I cook mine. I put only 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the creme fraiche mixture, I add a lot more capers because I really like them and instead of putting the oven on "bake", I put it on "broil". There are many things you can substitute the red snapper with. I use swai most often, it's a relative of the catfish. I'm going to try talapia out tonight. Chicken works great as well but make sure you flatten out your pieces first. Pan sear them until you get a nice brown color. About 3 minutes per side. THEN put your creme fraiche mixture on top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes depending on thickness of your chicken. If you can't find shallots, use onion instead. The results are just about the same. You can buy ready made creme fraiche or you can make it yourself.

Creme Fraiche

1. 1 cup whipping cream mixed with 2 tablespoons buttermilk.
2. Combine well in glass jar and cover.
3. Let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened.
4. Stir well and refrigerate.
5. Use within 10 days.

Mustard-Roasted Fish

Ina Garten
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved

* 4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 8 ounces creme fraiche
* 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
* 2 tablespoons minced shallots
* 2 teaspoons drained capers


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it's barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it's done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

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