Cookin’ Quick, A Maggie Lee Recipe by Colleen Walsh Fong
December’s resolutions to make a fresh start where healthy eating is concerned have come due now that we’re into the new year. While we have the best intentions, we may not possess the recipes to carry out our pledges.
Americans celebrate New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day and Chinese New Year in January, so Eve’s January themes are fresh starts and freedom. Eve’s January recipe uses healthy food, free of excessive fat or preservatives and designed to bring good fortune to all who partake of it.
Chinese New Year falls on January 23rd this year. It is known for its fish dishes. Because the word “Yu,” meaning fish, sounds like the words for both wish and abundance, it is customary to serve a fish at the end of the meal as a wish for abundance in the coming year. The word for oranges sounds like wealth, and the word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune.
The marinade used in this recipe contains orange juice and the fish may be served with a green salad. The golden honey brushed upon its top before cooking symbolizes the gold bars of the wealthy.
So, we’ll combine all of these healthy ingredients in a dish that’s quick and easy to make, and hope for prosperity in 2012.
Good Fortune Fish
- 2 lb Grouper Filet, skinned (avoid farmed fish fed a “vegetarian” a.k.a. corn diet)
- 1 head Garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
- 1.5 C Tamari (or Soy Sauce)
- 2 T Ginger, minced peeled, fresh root or Gourmet Garden’s Spice Blend Tube
- 1 C Cran-raspberry Juice
- ½ C Orange Juice (squeezed from fresh oranges if possible)
- Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1/3 C Honey
- Place fish in a large zip-lock bag with garlic.
- Whisk together Tamari, Ginger and Juices. Pour over fish in bag.
- Zip bag and place in refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and as long as 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450°
- Sprinkle top with salt, pepper and brush with honey.
- Place fish on cookie sheet or broiler pan and put into preheated oven. Immediately reduce heat to 325°. Fish will cook quickly, within 10 minutes. Test for doneness with fork after 5 minutes. Do not overcook fish. It should be moist and flaky.
- Squeeze a little fresh orange juice over fish.
- Serve fish with a salad and rice.
In warm climates fish can be grilled on a cedar plank. Planks are available in most grocery stores and should be soaked as directed. Grill should be heated to its highest and the planked fish should be grilled over direct heat. When removing the plank from the grill, it will likely be smoking. Move the fish to a serving platter and leave plank outside to cool before discarding.
Trader Joes sells some delicious, pre-made bagged salads that don’t have the plastic taste that some other brands carry.
Brown rice is healthiest, but carry-out fried rice makes a nice side-dish and reduces cooking time.
Leftover fish can be used to make lettuce wraps on subsequent days. Just add some chopped scallions, chopped peanuts, bean sprouts—even a little mashed or cubed avocado goes well—and wrap in large lettuce leaves for a crunchy delight.