I'm a meal-planner. I sit down every weekend and peruse my cookbooks, spreadsheets, magazines, and favorite blogs for inspiration and recipe ideas, go to Starbucks for a coffee, and then I wander around the grocery store for a while. It's one of my favorite weekend rituals. For the most part I am pretty good about sticking with my menu plan, but there are definitely times when something gets pushed back or taken off if I'm not in the mood for it.
I almost pushed off this fish. And if it weren't for the fact that I couldn't bear the thought of wasting the $20 I spent on the wild-caught sea bass, I probably would have. Now to think that this meal could have suffered that fate is pretty crazy. Because it ended up being one of the best meals we've had in a while.
You could use pretty much any mild, white fish that you'd like. Halibut would be great, but tilapia would definitely be the most budget-conscious choice (though since it is thinner, you would need to adjust the cooking time accordingly). Pan roasting the fish allows it to be nice and crispy on the outside, while remaining tender and soft inside. The real standout here was the salsa though. It was a perfect balance between sweet and spicy, and the avocado mellowed the whole thing out. I served this over cilantro-lime quinoa, and we loved every single bite of this dinner. If you aren't a fan of seafood, you could easily serve the salsa over chicken, pork, or even tofu. I also think this would be a great combination for fish tacos.
It is below freezing outside right now, but this bright and fresh meal made me feel like summer is just around the corner... I can wish, right?
Pan-Roasted Fish with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa
salsa adapted from Everyday Food, January/February 2012
- 2 avocados, diced small
- 2 cups finely diced pineapple
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 2 limes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 white fish fillets (5-6 oz each)
- 1 Tbs olive oil
In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet until very hot, but not smoking. Carefully place the fish in a single layer in the pan. Allow to cook, without moving them, for 1-2 minutes, or until they are very light golden-brown. Very carefully flip the fish with a spatula.
Remove the pan from heat and transfer it to the oven. Cook 5-7 minutes, or until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork. The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the fish, so start checking it around 4-5 minutes.
To serve, top each piece of fish with salsa.