Mediterranean Style Orange Roughy
|Or is it?|
One of my most favorite fish FINALLY went on sale recently, Orange Roughy. This is a firm, mild fish that's imported into the United States from as close as Nova Scotia and as far as New Zealand. I first tried this fish about 8-10 years ago and instantly fell in love with it. Next to Lake Erie Perch and Walleye, Orange Roughy would be third in my top 5 favorite fish list (4th smelts, 5th tuna - just in case you were dying to know). I usually prepare this fish very simply - a lil melted butter brushed on the filet, followed by a simple sprinkling of very finely minced garlic, salt and pepper. Throw it under the broiler and you've got a mighty fine tasting dinner.
This time I decided to go a different route. I wanted to bake this fish with some fresh flavors that I'd not normally use when preparing any fish. So in search I went. I found this recipe for Mediterranean Style Orange Roughy on Recipezaar.com and it seemed to fit the bill as I normally don't use tomato or lemon when preparing fish. Although I was a little put off by the sour cream. Sour cream and fish? huh.
Well it ended up that I changed this recipe quite a bit, basically due to what I had and did not have on hand. I left out the capers because the jar I had on hand was pretty damn old. *shudder* and I didn't have any fresh plum tomatoes on hand, so I subbed canned organic fire roasted diced tomatoes. I also didn't add the wine (my sister was here recently, therefore my wine supply is long gone. hee!). And finally, I left out the Feta cheese because I just can't stomach cheese and fish. If I were to prepare my fish like this again (probably not) I would substitute the capers for diced Kalamata olives, leave the sour cream out entirely (even though it gave the fish a nice tang, I believe the lemon would be enough), and definitely use the white wine. The fish turned out very flaky and flavorful - as I said there was a nice tang from the sour cream and the lemon and the combination of the lemon and tomato added that freshness I was looking for even if I did use canned tomatoes. I think I'd also make this even more fresh tasting by sprinkling fresh chopped basil or cilantro over it after it was done baking. This dish needed salt - and I suppose that's what the capers were for, so yeah - definitely add them or Kalamata olives if you were to try this. I think I was disappointed because it was a creamy topping, where I was looking for something a little more simple in flavoring. Yep, I'm kicking myself in the arse for not leaving the sour cream out - what was I thinking? There isn't much sour cream used in Mediterranean cooking anyway, is there?
Anyhoo.. as always when I try something new, regardless if it was a winner or not, I'm glad I tried it. And the more I write about it, the more I do want to try this preparation again - only with the changes I'd like to make. Maybe there will be an update to this post one day. ;)
4 (6 ounce) orange roughy fillets, 1/2 inch thick
4 ounces feta cheese with dried basil and tomato or plain feta cheese (Omitted)
1/4 c. low-fat sour cream
1/4 c. finely chopped red onions
1 clove garlic, minced finely
3 TBS. capers, drained and rinsed (Omitted, but would sub with Kalamata olives)
2 small plum tomatoes, seeded, and finely chopped (Subbed with 1/2 (10.5 oz) can of organic fire roasted diced tomatoes)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (I always use sea salt when preparing fish or seafood)
1-2 tsp. white wine (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray foil with non-stick spray.
Season fish on both sides with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
In a medium bowl combine feta, sour cream, red onion, garlic, capers, tomatoes, lemon peel and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined.
Add wine to feta cheese mixture if desired.
Arrange fish on prepared baking sheet. Spread cheese topping over fish.
Bake until fish is just cooked through, approximately 10-12 minutes.
The way I'd do it next time:
1- Leave cheese and sour cream out
2- Sub Kalamata or another good olive in brine for the capers
3- Add the wine - but more like 2 tablespoons, not teaspoons. (really? what's the point?)
4- Sprinkle fresh cilantro or basil over the fish after it's been baked.
5- I also think I'd sub finely diced shallots in lieu of the red onion - because a red onion can be a little over-powering sometimes.
6- Ohh and I'd keep the fire roasted canned tomatoes in lieu of the fresh plum tomatoes - the fire roasted were delicious!