So you can learn from my mistakes, and never attempt them.
I decided that I had a lot of fish, just sitting around in my fridge, mostly pre-frozen, store-bought, and by no means fresh. However, as I’m behind on my Cookbook challenge, I decided to give Nigella Kitchen a gander to take a look at what the Goddess had to offer. This was what I found, a “speedy seafood supper” with nothing on the “seafood” part to enlighten me other than ” frozen mixed seafood.”
Not so terrible, or so I thought. I’m assuming the recipe would have been a lot better if I used different seafood. I’m sure of it, actually.
Next time I’m looking for a seafood dish, I’ll probably attempt a delicious one from Hot Sour Salty Sweet.
Serves 2-4 (I found 2 is just enough when served w/ rice)
pinch of saffron threads
1 cup freshly boiled water
4 teaspoons garlic flavored oil
1 medium sweet onion (note: original recipe called for 6 scallions)
1 teaspoon each anise seed and thyme (note: original recipe called for, which I didn’t have, 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine (of which I used sparkling and it was fabulous)
1 14- ounce can diced tomatoes (note: original recipe called for 1/2 x 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, but I found this to not be enough when soaking the rice in the mixture)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 fillets of whiting, 2 fillets of flounder, and 4 scallops (this is where the “1 pound frozen mixed seafood” was)
pepper, to taste
fresh herbs to serve (sadly ran out when I used the last of the parsley for my eggs this morning)
few dashes of white truffle oil (my own addition)
Put the saffron threads in a bowl and add 1 cup freshly boiled water.
Warm the garlic oil in a wide, shallow, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, and fry the scallions and dried tarragon ( or thyme and anise seed) for a minute or so.
Add the vermouth (or wine) and let bubble for a minute, then add the saffron in it’s yellow water, followed by the tomatoes, and let it all come back to a boil. Add half the amount of the salt specified above.
Turn up the heat to high, add the frozen seafood, and bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and cook at a robust simmer till the seafood is hot and cooked through, which should be 3 or 4 minutes.
Season with pepper to taste, and add the rest of the salt if required, sprinkle with any available herbs (and the white truffle oil if using), if you feel like it, and serve, for peasureable mopping, with some crusty bread.
*My misfortunes stemmed from my fish choice, which after this experience, I will never even purchase again. The whiting, especially, and flounder were too “fishy” and the scallops were too much of a light taste to compete. Therefore the dish, I felt, was slightly off balance, and even though the white truffle oil complimented the sauce in the rice and the scallops, it mixed awfully with the rest of the fish.
* I recommend, from what I can identify in the cookbook image that went alongside this recipe, to use squid/ calamari rings, cut up, along with some scallops (if preferred) or shrimp, and some mussels and clam meat.
I’m looking forward to tomorrows Treacle Tart bars a lot more than tonights dinner.