Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fish in the Freezer

When my husband goes to the grocery store, I am never quite sure what he'll come back with. He knows that fish is healthy, so one day about six months ago, he bought some frozen orange roughy fillets. I don't know about you, but I have never heard of this fish. I didn't know how to cook it, so there it sat in the back of the freezer. A few days ago, I got up the courage to use it up, mostly because I didn't want it cluttering my already tiny freezer anymore.

I had seen one of Giada's shows on the Food Network for a salmon dish that looked great, and pretty quick to make. I also have an Italian cookbook by Giada, and I think she has a real knack for teaching simple dishes that have a lot of flavor, and making the steps clear. I would recommend her if you'd like to get a little fanicer with your dishes, but you don't want to have to spend hours making them. I adapted her Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree for my orange roughy. The recipe can be found here:

It came out wonderfully, and I think that any substantial fish could be used in this dish. After a survey of the Internet for basic information on orange roughy, I decided to marinate it ahead of time in lemon, garlic and a little bit of oil. This really complimented the broth part of the dish, and made the orange roughy less "fishy." I adjusted the cooking time because the orange roughy was much thinner than the average salmon filet, and substituted thinly sliced onions for shallots in the broth.

Typically any time I have to cook fish I throw it in some lemon and dill, and put it in the oven. If you are looking for a new simple fish dish, I highly recommend this. Here are the pitfalls to be aware of before you start.
1. Don't overcook the fish. A few minutes on each side will do (check for light browning).
2. Only flip the fish once if at all possible. This will prevent dryness and prevent the fillet from falling apart.
3. Chop the garlic into four pieces before adding to the food processor to make the puree. If you don't, you'll have large chunks of garlic, and you will have to run it too long, which will make the rest of the puree like soup.
4. Be sure to add the Parmesan to the pea puree after taking it out of the food processor. Do not mix the cheese into the puree in the food processor because the heat of the blade can change the taste of the cheese, which will in turn alter the taste of your whole dish.

Now go and wow them (and yourself)!


  1. I like orange roughy. It is common out in the west coast. Sounds like this is a great way to prepare it. I will have to try it.

  2. Really? That is interesting--must be a coastal difference. I hope you do try it, let me know how it goes!