Fast, Fancy, Fabulous Fish Dinner

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I tried to make up for a decadent, totally-not-lo-co (and absolutely fantastic) dinner at Jean Georges in NYC this Friday with a 4 mile walk around the perimeter of Central Park Saturday morning.

But in my heart, I knew that wasn’t enough.  After a weekend eating out in NYC for every meal, I decided it’d be a good idea to cook some healthy dinners this week.

My husband was shocked.  Pleased, but shocked.

Especially since on Monday I actually cooked the fish I bought – rather than my usual mojo which is to buy the fish, declare “I’m too tired to cook, let’s go out,” then tossing the never-cooked fish a few days later.

What I picked up on Monday were the ingredients for a perennial favorite in my household: Mustard Roasted Arctic Char. Well, it’s a fave with my husband and me; our son dislikes mustard, so this is not a winner when he’s home. Which he’s not. So.

As it’s been a few years since I posted about Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Fish I thought it high time to write about this delicious dish that’s a rare find: easy enough for a weeknight and fancy enough for a dinner party.

Plus, it’s pretty lo-co considering the cream-based sauce is used for cooking – with just a dollop served on top. So you get a lot of flavor without a lot of cream.

Personally, I like to serve this dish with roasted asparagus which stands up to the mustard flavor AND can be served room temperature, so it’s perfect for a dinner party. Steamed string beans also work well.

And I have a new favorite side: Near East’s new Quinoa Blend Rosemary & Olive Oil.  It’s a blend of quinoa and brown rice that’s tasty and so easy to make (and keep warm) using a rice cooker. Directions for rice-cooker-cooking aren’t on the package, but no problem: just follow package directions for olive oil and water amounts and toss it all in a rice cooker at least 45 minutes (maybe a tad more) before serving dinner. Fair warning though: this has a LOT of salt, so if salt is an issue, choose a different side…

MustardRoastFishQuinoaAsparagusI made this Monday night for dinner: Mustard Roasted Artic Char, the brown rice quinoa blend, and roasted asparagus. I used 1 pound of Char which netted dinner for my husband and me Monday night PLUS enough for my lunch the next day. (It’s not the best photo, as it was Monday evening and I was running late so was HUNGRY. Just pretend I’d taken my time plating it to envision this as a dinner party dish!)

Is it the most lo-co dish ever? No. But it’s not bad, really – especially if you go light with the “dollop the mustard sauce on top before serving” step.  I wrote about the nutritional value of this fish recipe on Mmm Mmm Mustard Roasted Fish – so if you want more details about nutritional info, check out that post.

Also, I NEVER make the entire amount of cream sauce since I usually make about one pound of fish rather than the 2 pounds called for in Ina Garten’s original recipe.  I mean, really – look at how huge that fish portion is on my plate, and that’s about 1/3 of the pound of char I cooked.  So for 2-3 servings, one pound of fish – and half the cream sauce – is what’s called for, IMHO.

For my half-recipe (and my modifications: I also use less salt than called for in the original), see my hand-revised recipe, Mustard Roasted Fish a la Karen.

Make this dish on a December weeknight after indulging in too much egg nog and/or holiday cookies over the weekend…or for a “Yay, the holidays are over” dinner party in January!

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