Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let's salsa...

Fresh salsas are an excellent way to add flavor, moisture and extra nutrients to meat and fish. They are a cross between a sauce and a veggie side.You can make salsa with many fruits and veggies. Mango, pineapple and peach are delicious ones. I find it's also a great way to get rid of fruits and veggies that are on their way to spoiling. In my fridge there were sixteen cherry tomatoes that need to be used immediately and I also had a bunch of olives left over from a party. I thought of making pasta puttanesca but I already have a pasta dish planned for tomorrow night. So I used the same ingredients that go in a puttanesca sauce but made a salsa instead.  I served it over seared swai (catfish family) fillets with couscous and broccoli.

Seared Fish With Puttanesca Salsa

Seared Fish

3-4 boneless/skinless fish fillets -any fish that you like; halibut, talapia, snapper, swai (catfish), orange roughy are all good choices
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable oil

Salsa Puttanesca

16 cherry tomatoes (preferably sweet and organic), quartered
16 olives (kalamatas are good), drained and cut into smaller pieces
1 tbsp capers, drained
2 tbsp red onion, chopped small
1 tsp garlic, minced fine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Make the salsa first. Pour the oil, vinegar and garlic into a small mixing bowl and whisk. Then add the tomatoes, olives, capers, onions, a small dash of salt (the olives and capers will already add a lot of saltiness, you can always add more after you taste it) and some pepper. Gently combine everything together. Set aside. Cover and put in the refrigerator if you are making it quite ahead of time.

Rinse the fish with cold water and dry completely with some paper towel. Season the prettier side with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. When the oil is really hot, add your fillets pretty side down and let sear for 3 minutes without disturbing them. Flip them over and sear for about a minute and a half more. Obviously if you have a thicker cut of fish you will cook it for a bit longer than that. Plate or put fish on a serving platter and spoon salsa over top each fillet. I left one of the fillets salsa-free for the kids. Serve immediately.

Cool Tools:
Oxo Good Grips Splatter Screen with Folding Handle
Oxo Good Grips Splatter Screen with Folding Handle

This is a great tool for preventing splatter while cooking. I used it tonight while searing the fish in oil. It's especially useful when cooking with tomato sauce. How often do you end up with red splatter all over your stove?! This one has a fold-down handle for more compact storage.


  1. My problem is that I end up with red (or usually oil) splatter all over my shirt! That's why I've taken to wearing aprons. I need to get one, though, that isn't so matronly. I want one of those sexy 50s throwback ones. :-)

  2. Check these out, they are pretty va va voom!