Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.
Pesach is that time of year when food prep is at the forefront of everyone’s to do list. Okay, weeks before Pesach is that time of year too. And the concerns about cholesterol follow right behind.
With the chopped liver and the mandatory brisket and roasts and chicken soup, it makes my arteries start to harden just writing about it. Sometimes you have to take a step back and say: No more meat–please pass the fish.
Gefilte fish might be your first thought but after the Seder leftovers are gone I’m going to suggest that you utilize some fresh (or frozen) filets of white fish or salmon and cook up these fast, easy and HEALTHY fish recipes that will help balance out all the heavy meat meals that make up for all the other days of yuntif (the holiday).
Of special note, NO matzos are harmed in the making of these recipes; they are completely, utterly and absolutely matzo free.
WHITE FISH WITH TOMATOES AND BLACK OLIVES (fish/pareve)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, sliced thin, divided into 2/3’s and 1/3
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped (or one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes)
Salt and black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoon red wine or 1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar
4 5-ounce whitefish fillets, skin and any bones removed
3/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 to 1 cup toasted almonds
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add the garlic, 2/3’s of the basil and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft, not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red wine or vinegar, cook 2 or 3 more minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. When the tomato sauce is done cooking remove it from the heat. Place the fillets on the tomato sauce. Top the two fillets with the olives and remaining 1/3 of the sliced basil leaves. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook until fish is done, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the fillets topped with the tomato sauce and toasted almonds.
My files, source unknown.
SALMON WITH LIME SAUCE (fish, dairy or pareve)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 to 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted
8 (6-oz) pieces center-cut salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon lime zest
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and process until smooth. Set it aside.
Heat a grill pan with a little oil. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper, then grill, flesh sides down, 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and grill until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Place the cooked fish on a platter, sprinkle with the lime zest and top each with 1 heaping tablespoon lime sauce (you will have extra sauce).
Serves 8 to 10.
Modified from epicurious.com.
COD WITH GREEN OLIVES (fish, pareve)
1 tablespoon oil
6 cod fillets
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 stalks chopped celery
3 shredded carrots
2 cups seasoned tomato sauce (like a pasta sauce)
1/4 cup pimiento stuffed green olives, halved
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Mashed potatoes (optional)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and carrots and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and green olives.
Place the cod filets in the skillet (making sure they don’t touch) and then spoon the sauce over the filets. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the fish flakes with a fork. Stir in lime or lemon juice.
Arrange fish on serving platter. Stir the parsley or cilantro into sauce, then spoon the sauce over the cod. This is amazing served with mashed potatoes.
Modified/submitted by Carolyn Putterman of Chicago, IL.
PARMESAN PECAN SALMON (fish, dairy)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 salmon fillets (1 lb.), skins removed
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup ground pecans, or almonds if you prefer
Preheat the oven to 400. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheese and pepper until well blended. Place the salmon in a foil-lined pan and drizzle the lemon juice over the top. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the top then sprinkle the ground nuts on top of the mayonnaise mixture. Bake 12 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) until fish flakes easily with fork.
Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
My files, source unknown.
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and OU Life. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for several publications. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking Cuisine by Eileen.