This mi­crowaved ver­sion of clay­pot fish is de­li­cious

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - MELISSA D’ARABIAN

Years ago I was trav­el­ling alone for work in New York City, and I popped into a ran­dom restau­rant across the street from my ho­tel.

I asked for a menu rec­om­men­da­tion from my waiter, and he in­sisted on a clay­pot fish, a sim­ple dish of cod, toma­toes, onion, pota­toes and le­mon baked in a small cazuela, or clay pot.

I was skep­ti­cal, but com­pletely hooked at first bite: fresh, sim­ple, com­fort­ing all at once. The veg­gies cre­ated a light aro­matic broth that steamed the fish gen­tly to del­i­cate per­fec­tion. The sim­ple meal was so good, in fact, that I went back the sec­ond night of my trip and or­dered the ex­act same thing. In a city with more must-try restau­rants than I could ever hope to visit, re­peat visits mean some­thing.

I’ve made var­i­ous ver­sions of clay­pot fish my­self over the years, us­ing cute tapas-style dishes I bought while vis­it­ing Barcelona, and I’ve loved every one of them.

I was ex­plor­ing the (crazy?) idea of mak­ing uber-fast meals in the mi­crowave, and im­me­di­ately clay­pot fish came to mind: could a cov­ered glass dish pro­vide the right en­vi­ron­ment to quickly steam the fish cor­rectly, and avoid the rub­bery-results one might ex­pect from a mi­crowaved meal?

The short an­swer is yes! The trick is not to over­cook the fish, even by a minute, so check the fish fre­quently. I use a glass dish, so ad­mit­tedly it’s missing the charm and earthy flavour of the cazuela, but this mi­crowaved ver­sion of clay­pot fish is le­git de­li­cious.

It’s ver­sa­tile (feel free to swap in some of your favourite in­gre­di­ents or herbs), healthy, and full of vi­ta­mins and lean pro­tein. Plus, any time you can get din­ner on the ta­ble in un­der 15 min­utes is one less night you’ll be tempted to swing by the drive-thru. And that is a huge win for both your health and your wal­let.

Weeknight Clay­pot Fish YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

1 pound fin­ger­ling pota­toes 4 fil­lets of Dover sole, or other white fish, such as cod or floun­der, about 1 pound 3 roma toma­toes, diced 3 ta­ble­spoons le­mon juice 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 2 cloves gar­lic, minced ¼ cup chopped red onion 2 ta­ble­spoons ca­pers (or briny olives) chopped pars­ley, for gar­nish

Start to Fin­ish: 15 min­utes Pierce the fin­ger­ling pota­toes two or three times each with a fork and place in a glass mi­crowave-safe dish with cover. Fill with enough wa­ter to cover about one-fourth the way up the pota­toes (about ½ cup wa­ter) and ¼ tea­spoon salt.

Mi­crowave for ten min­utes. Pota­toes should be firm but with some give. Sea­son the fish fil­lets with a lit­tle salt and pep­per and lay on top of the par-cooked pota­toes. In a small bowl, mix to­gether the toma­toes, le­mon juice, olive oil, gar­lic, onion and ca­pers. Spoon on top of the fish. Cover and mi­crowave for five min­utes.

Check for done­ness — fish should be opaque. If not done, mi­crowave for an­other minute or two, but check every thirty sec­onds. Let sit for a minute or two and serve. Sprin­kle with chopped pars­ley.

Nu­tri­tion per serv­ing: 273 calo­ries; 88 calo­ries from fat; 10g fat (2g sat­u­rated; 0g trans fats); 71mg choles­terol; 572mg sodium; 24g car­bo­hy­drate; 4g fi­bre; 3g sugar; 22g pro­tein.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Weeknight Clay­pot Fish, from a recipe by Melissa d’Arabian.

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