Kaki. Some of my New Years Resolutions were to eat more fish and more greens. Naturally this Mark Bittman recipe*, already a standard in my kitchen, has been a star of this “eat more fish and greens” initiative.
I find myself making this most often on Saturdays that I’m working a wedding. Working part-time for a wedding florist basically means that once or twice a month I am at one of the hotels around town, setting up centerpieces and cake floral and desperately trying to find the last grandma to give her a corsage. We’re gone by the time the ceremony starts, and then we’re back around 11 when the party is over and it’s just us and the hotel staff tearing everything down again.
It’s a good part-time job, I like it. But it does mean I occasionally have a really random window of time on a Saturday in which to do something about dinner. And of course, at that point I’m tired and sweaty and ready to be sitting, not cooking. This recipe is perfect for that, as it’s done in between 10-15 minutes. And we all know I am a snail in the kitchen, so if I can make this that quickly, it’s legit.
First you get you some hearty greens. I’ve really fallen for this shredded kale/brussels/cabbage blend form Trader Joe’s. I used it in that Whoa-Healthy Salad awhile ago. Here it shows its versatility, since you can also cook with it.
You’re also going to want a flavorful liquid. The original recipe calls for white wine, which I can heartily recommend. However, I usually use beer. Just because. And you just need a half cup, so the rest of it can be enjoyed on its own.
Then you need butter. And garlic. Two tablespoons, divided, and cut into chunks. One clove, smashed, maybe torn into pieces with your fingers if you feel like it. Or not.
And then fish! You can use anything, of course, but recently I got a third of a pound of Dover Sole, and it was perfect. It was so, so thin that it was done in two minutes, I kid you not. Quick = excellent.
It’s go time!
Throw two handfuls of hearty greens into a pan. Pour the beer over them. Put one tablespoon of butter pieces and the garlic clove pieces on top of the greens. Add some salt and pepper.
Turn the burner on to medium and cover for around 7-8 minutes. Check it halfway to make sure there is still liquid in the bottom; add more beer if it’s dry.
Then lay the salted-and-peppered fish on top of the wilted greens. Put the rest of the butter pieces on top of the fish. Cover and cook another 2-3 minutes.
It’s done! Look how the sauce has gone from beer to beer-and-butter-and-fish-goodness. Yum.
Then just slide those pretty filets right onto the plate.
Just slide… slide it…
Ugh, nevermind. Pretty or not, just get it all onto the plate already, I’m starving.
Quick Fish and Greens
adapted from Mark Bittman (who is a genius and you should totally try some of his recipes, Kaki)
- 2 handfuls hearty greens of your choice, shredded
- 1/2 cup beer (or white wine)
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided and cut into chunks
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/3 pound Dover Sole, or other thin, skinless white fish filet
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the greens into a medium-large saute pan with a lid. Pour the beer over the greens. Place one tablespoon of butter pieces and the garlic over the greens. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
- Cover the pan, and turn the burner to medium heat. Let cook for between 7-8 minutes. Check halfway to make sure there is still liquid in the pan; add more beer if it’s dry.
- While the greens are cooking, season the fish filets with another pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
- Once the greens are nicely wilted, uncover the pan and lay the seasoned fish on top of the wilted greens. Put the remaining tablespoon of butter pieces on top of the fish.
- Cover the pan and let cook until fish is done; for something as thin as sole this takes only 2-3 minutes. If you have a thicker piece of fish again watch that the pan does not go dry, and add more beer if it needs it.
This would be great over a grain or some couscous to soak up all that yummy sauce. But I didn’t have any on-hand, so I went without**. No matter.
From my quick kitchen to yours, Kaki,
*I love how he refers to kale like it’s a pretty new thing. Oh, 2009! Too funny.
**No I did not just drink the rest of the sauce right off of the plate!***
***Yes. Yes, I did do that.
P.S. I know this recipe won’t be one that we share, due to the fish. But the method for the greens is worth recreating on its own, just for the record. This may be a meal for me, but could be a killer side-dish for you.