Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sturgeon in Parchment,

and leftover sturgeon starring in...
* a Rice Bowl with Fish & Vegies
* a Flavorful Asian-style Soup

Tuesday's impromptu fish dinner began with an unscheduled stop at Mutual Fish. Unscheduled? Oops, H and I were so busy chatting on the drive home that we missed our turnoff for the scenic lake route. Mere minutes later we found ourselves in front of Mutual, my favorite Seattle fish store and made a fast turn into the parking lot. We were ready for another joint cooking adventure, and I've been promoting Fish en Papillote as a fun, useful technique. That missed turnoff was perfect serendipity. 

The fish market was eerily empty when we arrived, offering a perfect opportunity to consult with the experts. The helpful fellows behind the Mutual counter recommended halibut, swordfish or sturgeon for parchment cooking, and chose a pair of gorgeous sturgeon steaks for us. Two pieces were more than enough for three appetites as it later turned out (see below!). The fun continued after we arrived at the house and searched the refrigerator and pantry for vegetables, sauces, aromatics, etc. to accompany the fish. Too many choices complicated the process. With so many tempting flavor combinations, why make everyone's entree the same? Well, we didn't. 

Each package began with a bed of lemon slices and a handful of julienned celery topped with 1/2 of a boned sturgeon steak. The first package featured coins of ginger, chopped scallions, lemon zest, sweet Thai chili sauce and a drizzle of mirin.

Another packet included Thai peanut sauce, jalapeno slices, scallions, ginger,lemon zest and lemon juice. 

A third parcel held sweet red pepper strips, jalapeno rounds, capers, mini tomato halves, chopped fresh mint and cilantro, Ponzu sauce and a splash of mirin.

There was a fourth package, but without a photo I can't recall what it contained. I do remember that all four combinations were delicious, but the peanut sauce was the favorite flavor hit.

H cut parchment hearts, stacked the ingredients on one half of the paper, folded the edges to close, placed the packets on a cookie sheet, and baked them for exactly 12 minutes in a preheated 425 F oven. That's it, a complete set of directions in one sentences Note: see my previous en papillote post (link) for more words on the same topic.

Served with a generous mound of rice, each packet made a filling entree, and that left a healthy quantity of cooked fish, amazingly tasty sauces and some fresh supporting ingredients to use in reruns. Hooray, I do love playing with leftovers to create something new for lunch the next day. 

Reheated gently in the microwave, this rice bowl was topped with a few chunks of sturgeon, cooked celery, fresh peppers, green onions and capers and a few drizzles of cooking sauce. This was SO good, it did not taste like leftovers. 

I poured a cup of steaming broth over a second loaded rice bowl combination, stirred in a dash of lime juice and fish sauce, and celebrated another winner. Once again, this did not taste like leftovers, it was scrumptious. 

What's in your favorite rice bowl or Asian soup?

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