Father's Day at Allana's
My father is a 6'3 monster of a man who, if given the choice, would love off the double-stack cheeseburgers, greasy fries and large chocolate malts for the rest of his life. The man love food thankfully, I inherited that gene from him. To this day, my mom loves telling my brother and I stories of how when she and my dad were dating, he would order two entrees when they would go out to eat. Two, because one entree just wasn't enough. While nowadays one entree is plenty, it's a;ways an adventure cooking for a man who has the appetite of a teenager with the metabolism of a health-conscious 50-something.
For Father's Day, I was racking my brain for recipes that I know would not only satisfy Dad's trembling hunger but not kill his cholesterol either. As much as I know Pops would love a medium rare strip steak with fries, I took a different direction to serve something filling, flavorful and unique. Just the other day, I was flipping through a Rick Bayless cookbook and stumbled upon a recipe I hoped would do the trick. Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes. Is baked fish worlds apart from a steak or double-stack burger? Of course! However, I was confident I could mask the "healthy" aspect with the spicy tomatoes, potatoes and the kick of jalapenos. The recipe was simple enough to where I could play around.
This dish is wonderful since you can adapt the flavors to your liking. Not a fan of cilantro? No problem. Scared of spicy? Freshen it up with parsley rather than jalapenos. We're a family that happens to love the peppery and pungent aroma of basil, so immediately I nixed the cilantro and put my tube of Gourmet Garden Basil to use. I wanted to liven up the tomato :salsa" that goes atop the fish and potatoes, so I added Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic and Parsley to the mix, it drastically elevated the flavors. Upon first bite, I realized with the addition of my herbs, I had changed the traditional Mexican flavors of the dish to taste more Italian, which pleased the whole dinner table.
While baked fish may not seem like the most fulfilling of dishes, the stack of roasted potatoes and mounds of fresh tomato and herby salsa added heartiness to the whole plate. Along with a small side salad, I'm confident this meal will be satisfying (and healthy) enough for my father (and yours) on their special day.
Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes & Potatoes (Adapted from Rick Bayless "Mexican Everyday")
- 4 medium (1 lb) red-skin boiling or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice ( preferably fire-roasted)
- 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic
- 1/2 Tube Gourmet Garden Basil
- 1/4 cup sliced canned pickled jalapenos (buy nacho slices)
- 1 Tbsp jalapeno pickling juice
- 4 (4-5 oz) skinless fish fillets, 3/4-1-inch thick (MahiMahi, Halibut or Striped Bass)
- Gourmet Garden Parsley for garnish
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scoop the sliced potatoes into a microwaveable 8 x 8 baking dish. Drizzle on the oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat, then spread potatoes in an even layer. Cover with plastic and poke a couple of holes in the top. Microwave on HIGH until potatoes are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes with their juice, Gourmet Garden Garlic, Basil, jalapenos and their pickling juice. Process to a puree, leaving just a little texture. Season to taste.
Lay the fish fillets in a single layer over the potatoes. Pour the tomato mixture evenly the fish and potatoes. Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish flakes when pressed.
Scoop a portion of the fish, potatoes & sauce onto a plate. Garnish with Gourmet Garden Parsley. Serve.