This Could Be Your Dinner Tonight....Really!
November 2, 2017
“What’s For Dinner?” is often a daunting question. It is the first thing that my children ask when they come through the door from school, and the one that I ask myself either in advance, on Sunday for the week, when I am organized or in a panic, at 4:00pm, when I have spent my day doing other things. It is relevant even when making reservations. The answer often requires some forethought, planning and research. Trial and error isn’t great here; going without dinner just isn’t an option. Some days I enjoy this task and rise to the challenge with a creative new idea or an old stand-by made somehow new again. Others, I am at a complete loss. I am just being honest.
But providing an easy answer for others is my job. It is my task as the family shopper and cook; my challenge as a cooking teacher and writer. Everyone wants quick dinners that require no effort. This is almost a universal request. For many, the speed and ease is the most important. I just can’t compromise the flavor and appearance. I want my food to be tasty, attractive and appealing. I hope that this recipe satisfies both camps. In fact, I think it is so delicious and great-looking that you could even serve it to company. The sweet potatoes can be made completely, in advance, and reheated, but I have included steps to finish the entire meal from start to finish in 30 minutes if your preference or schedule demands that you cook that way. Scroll to the bottom for the grocery list for 4-5 people.
This dinner may still be too involved, especially as we head into the holiday season, Stay tuned next week for an even easier, but gorgeous dish: Butternut Squash or Cheese Ravioli with Browned Butter and Sage. And the best thing: no chopping required!
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Always preheat your broiler for at least 15 minutes.
Make sure to scrub the outside of the sweet potatoes so the puree doesn’t taste gritty.
A great way to peel ginger is with a spoon.
Always use fresh-squeezed citrus juice in your cooking.
Always keep a close eye on foods that are being broiled, cooking times can vary considerably.
If the food is cooking too quickly, you can always cover with foil and/or turn off the broiler and use the oven instead.
If the food isn’t charring, use a higher broiler setting for a minute or two to finish the dish.
DINNER IN 30 MINUTES:
When cooking anything, organization is key. By spending a few extra minutes preparing to cook, you will be able to concentrate on what you are doing and you will have a better finished-product.
Turn on the toaster to 450^F to preheat.
Make the marinade.
Pour half of the marinade into a re-sealable plastic bag and add the fish Set aside on the counter to marinate for 20 minutes.
Turn on the broiler to preheat.
Scrub the sweet potatoes, and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes until easily pierced with a paring knife. Transfer the potatoes to the toaster for 10-15 more minutes to caramelize or make ahead and reheat.
Wash and dry the scallions.
Grate the ginger.
When the fish has only 5 more minutes left to marinate, toss the scallions with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, and arrange them in a single layer on a sheet tray covered with foil.
Broil the scallions for 3 minutes. Place the fish in a single layer on top of the scallions, drizzle with some of the reserved marinade and continue to broil for 4-6 minutes until charred around the edges. Sprinkle the fish with more of the reserved marinade. Continue to cook for a minute or two more, until the fish is medium.
While the fish is cooking, make the sweet potatoes.
Serve the fish with the scallions and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with some of the remaining sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Broiled Halibut with Lime-Soy Sauce, Charred Scallions, and Quick Ginger Sweet Potato Mash
Adapted from Bon Appetit
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
11/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for serving
4-5 (6-ounce) skin-on halibut or cod fillets
2 bunches scallions
Whisk garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, 11/2 tablespoons of the oil, and ¾ teaspoon of the sesame seeds in a small bowl. Place fish fillets in a re-sealable plastic bag; add half of marinade. Seal bag, pressing out air, and let fish sit 30 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade.
Preheat broiler. Toss scallions with remaining teaspoon of the oil on a sheet tray covered with aluminum foil; broil until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove fish from marinade and set on top of scallions. Spoon some reserved marinade over the top and broil until fish is charred around edges, about 6 minutes (watch closely to keep from burning). Add more marinade , if desired, and continue to broil until fish is charred and medium at thickest part, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds and serve immediately with the sweet potatoes.
Serves 4 to 5.
Quick-Baked Ginger Sweet Potato Mash
2 pounds( 2-3 large sweet potatoes), scrubbed and pierced with a fork or paring knife
1 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the toaster oven to 450^F. Place the sweet potatoes in the microwave and cook on high for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a paring knife. Transfer the potatoes to the toaster oven, cooking on the tray covered with foil, to caramelize while you marinate the fish. Alternatively, cook completely in toaster oven, about one hour.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the toaster and allow to cool slightly. Pull the skin off the potatoes and mash the flesh in a bowl. Stir in the butter, ginger, orange juice, and the honey. Season to taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Potatoes can be prepared completely and held in the refrigerator overnight or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in refrigerator and reheat in microwave. Fluff with a fork, check seasoning, and serve.
Serves 4 to 5.
GROCERY LIST FOR 4-5 PEOPLE:
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 bunches scallions
1 Fresno (looks like a red jalapeño) or jalapeño chile ,optional!
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 piece fresh ginger
1 fresh orange
1 tablespoon butter
4-5 (6-ounce) halibut or cod filets, skin-on