Sunday, May 29, 2016

Poached Swai with Black Eye Peas

I've felt like eating healthy lately.  It's odd: I go on health binges instead of fast-food ones.  At some point, my body will get mad and insist I eat junk, but that will probably happen around the tea party, so I'm covered.  Actually, what I have planned for the tea isn't all that bad for you.

I don't think I've ever had black eye peas.  This fits under the heading of trying a new ingredient.  I was going to serve the fish over Israeli couscous, but that cost more than the fish, so I looked at the rest of the grocery shelf it was on and opted for the beans.

I also poached the fish instead of pan-frying it coated in breadcrumbs, which was my first instinct.  And fresh herbs in the tomatoes just sounded like a good idea.  Ever since I moved my basil to the other side of the doorway, it has gone gangbusters.  I still had a bit of cilantro, and stewed tomatoes were born.

This is my second entrée in a row that's gluten-free.  It would have been three, but there were breadcrumbs in the meatballs.  Seriously, not my intention.  Remember, first choice was the spherical pasta.  At least this one wasn't vegan.  I do work at a bakery, so it isn't as through I'm not getting my bread products.

1 C dry black eye peas or 1 15 oz can
*1 10 oz package grape or cherry tomatoes
1 Tb fresh basil
*1 Tb fresh cilantro
1 Tb olive oil
4 small (6 oz-ish) swai fillets
1/2 C lemon juice
salt and pepper

1.  If soaking beans, start the day before.  2 hours before mealtime, drain beans, bring to a simmer with 3 C lightly salted water, cover, and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  For canned, drain and rinse, then microwave shortly before serving.

2.  For tomatoes, wash and cut in half.  In a small saucepan, place tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and cilantro over medium-low heat.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light simmer and reduce heat.  Cover and let stew in the tomato juice while you prepare the fish.  Don't let the tomatoes get dry, because they are your "sauce" for the dish.

3.  For the fish, bring 1/2" of water and lemon juice to just under a boil in a large skillet.  Poaching means you don't boil the water, just keep it under a simmer.  I was using frozen swai from a package, and salting the water was a mistake.  Unless you got it fresh from the meat counter, check the sodium content on the package before adding anything.  Add fillets and poach until opaque and fully cooked.  Times will vary depending on frozen vs fresh and the thickness of the fillets.  For fully defrosted, it's about 4 minutes per side.

4.  To serve, spoon a bed of beans onto the plate.  Add fish, then top with tomatoes.  Dust with pepper and serve hot.  Maybe accompanied by a salad.  Yes, I still have a lot of lettuce in the garden.  It's going to have to make room soon for the celery I have started in cups.

Difficulty rating  :)

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