Sunday, November 11, 2007

Foiled Again Again: Vacation Condo Steamed Fish

I was away this weekend and made a variant on the Vietnamese Steamed Fish baked in foil packets for my girlfriends. This is such an easy, low-calorie, low-fat and tasty technique and is so adaptable. (Plus it is easy to clean up and leaves no fish-cooking smell in the kitchen.) As with my Vacation Condo Soup , techniques and ingredients were driven by purchasing the minimal amount I could in the market and maximizing the limited kitchen resources available to me. (Please read the soup post to learn more tips for vacation condo cooking.) We did have to buy the foil (the smallest, $1.78 package, had just more than enough for us). The only seasonings at the condo were salt and pepper, so we tried to pack the flavor in with the vegetables and aromatics rather than buying expensive sauces or spices. We had the fish with bread, salad and microwaved butternut squash with watermelon for dessert. Our total cost for a fresh fish dinner for five was about $35, not bad considering how much it would have cost to go to a restaurant plus we got to be as rowdy and silly as we wanted to.

Vacation Condo Steamed Fish
Serves 5

2 pounds of fresh red snapper
salt and pepper
1 medium chopped leek, white and light green part only
2 cloves of garlic, finally minced
peel from 1/2 of a lemon either grated or finely minced
1 small red or yellow pepper, seeded and cored, chopped into 1/4 cubes
1/4 cup fennel bulb, chopped into 1/4 cubes
6 plum tomatoes, each tomato chopped into about 12-pieces each
1 tbsp of fresh fennel greens (fronds), minced
2 tbsp fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, minced.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (Please see the foiled again post for specific directions on how to make foil packets and cooking instructions.) In the center of a double thickness of foil, place a small handful of spinach leaves down and then place fish on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter one fifth of leek, garlic and lemon peel on top of fish. Then scatter red pepper, fennel and tomato. Sprinkle a fifth of minced fresh fennel greens and parsley. Add a bit more salt and pepper if desired. Fold packet to seal in juices. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Bake in oven for 1bout 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

Notes: My filets were very long and on the thin side. I cut each in half and laid them side by side on the foil. If you are serving another vegetable dish or lots of sides, this could serve six, in that case cut the filets accordingly and make up six foil packets. You might want to increase the total amount of each a bit before dividing intos sixths
It was amusing to me that the last time (see the Vietnamese Steamed Fish link above) I made fish this way I had a whole pantry of seasoning and sauces to choose from, but this time I was so limited. This is one versatile technique.
About the photo: It's from my first download from my new Panasonic Lumix TZ3. It's the view from our villa at Seascape Resorts in Aptos, CA.


condo for sale Philippines said...

Hmmm... seems so yummy! I also love to cook at my condo whenever I have free time. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. I enjoyed reading it. keep posting.


paula said...

I'm gonna cook this dish when I have my new condo next month. Thanks.

Paula M
condo Philippines