Saturday, February 18, 2012

Caper Fish!

I needed a recipe for capers since I had half a bottle just chilling in the fridge (leftover from the Tuna Fried Caper Pasta). I had marked this recipe in a magazine ages ago while I still lived in Syracuse. Too many recipes, not enough time!

I'm torn on this recipe. I liked the fish with lemon-wine-butter sauce but I was unimpressed with the pasta and spinach. I thought that part lacked flavor and was just eh. I'm also not sure how much the capers actually added to this dish. In the Tuna Fried Caper Pasta they were essential, in this one they were just there. So I will be keeping the fish/sauce part of this recipe but ditching the pasta and spinach.

I reduced the amount of butter: one tablespoon for the fish, one tablespoon for the sauce. You could probably forgo the fish butter and just lightly fry it in olive oil. It's also important to really season the fish with the Old Bay. I was a little stingy but when you got a bite that had a fair amount on it bam! I also have the reduced sodium Old Bay which does lack some of the flavor punch that the original has.
Piccata-Style Fish Fillets with Thin Pasta and Wilted Spinach
(adapted from Rachael Ray's Magazine)
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound thin egg pasta or angel hair pasta
4 thin tilapia or snapper fillets
Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 lemons
1/4 cup drained capers
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 pound fresh spinach, cleaned and trimmed
A little freshly grated nutmeg
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
2. Pat the fish dry and season with salt, pepper and a little Old Bay. On a plate, mix the flour and cornstarch. Coat the fish in the flour mixture.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter (I only did one) and let it foam up, then add the fish fillets and cook, turning once, until golden-brown and firm, 4-6 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan and return to the heat. 
4. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to melt. Stir in the garlic for 1 minute, then stir in the wine for another minute. Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and the juice of 1 lemon. Thinly slice the remaining lemon and stir the slices into the sauce, along with the capers and parsley. Spoon the sliced lemons and half of the butter sauce over the fish.
5. Add the reserved pasta water and the pasta to the skillet. Add the remaining butter sauce and season with salt and pepper; toss. Transfer the pasta to a platter. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the spinach, season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg and cook to wilt. Serve the fish with a little pasta and spinach alongside.

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