Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pan Fried Basa Topped With A Grape Tomato Sauce

The first time I tried Basa a couple of weeks ago, I was very impressed by it's light, buttery flavor. Seeing as we have 10-12 filet's to eat, we thought it would be a good idea to try them again.

The Basa's flavor is one you don't want to mask or overpower with any other ingredients. You want it's flavor to come through clearly. As usual, I went to the fridge to see what was in there and took a look around the rest of the kitchen to see what ideas I could come up with. It looked to be a tomato-y kind of day again and I wanted to keep it simple. Here's what the end result was.

Ingredients

- 1 Basa filet, cut in half
- 20 grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. I just use a small handful.
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) white wine or sherry
- EVOO
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Lay out the fish flat on a cutting board. Sprinkle salt and pepper over it, then cut it in half.


2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When it's ready (you'll know this it swirls around the pan quite easily), put the fish in. Always let it fall away from you as you don't want to get splashed by the hot oil. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side.


3. When finished, take the fish out of the pan and place them on your serving plates. Throw the tomatoes in to the pan along with the garlic, parsley and a little salt and pepper. The oil which the fish cooked in plus the juices from the fish will help make the sauce. Stir and let cook for two minutes. If you'll notice, the fish isn't browned. I don't pan fry it over extremely high heat, which makes the fish cook a little slower and in turn won't get hard.


5. After the two minutes is up, pour in the wine and stir again. Let the wine cook down for another 1-1.5 minutes. When this is done, spoon the sauce over top of the fish and serve.
Yield: Serves 2


This dish seems to have a lot of tomatoes in it compared to the amount of fish, but I like it this way. For every bite of fish there will be enough tomatoes to go with it all the way until the fish is done. There's a nice balance there between the flavors of the two.

The Basa fish is also known by another name, the Mekong Catfish. I have some reservations about Basa as I have read a few articles about how it is raised in pens on the Mekong River. You can buy it farmed or fresh, but fortunately it's not farmed like shrimp or salmon. If they are the farmed type, the water flows through the pens to ensure the excrement from the from the fish leaves the pens, unlike shrimp. Yuuuuuck! I'm not too sure what we bought, but it tasted good to me. Now, the Mekong is not the cleanest river in the world (no offense to my Vietnamese readers), but I am going with the Government Of Alberta Health And Wellness website on this and they say it is an acceptable fish to eat. Until I find out otherwise (and I will keep looking), I will eat it once in awhile. It's a nice, light fish to eat and has exceptional flavor. Eating it with this sauce will make it a very healthy and tasty meal.

Little O's Menu

When we go out for dinner, she is eating a little more all of the time of what we eat. We make sure it isn't too spicy or hot temperature-wise, so she is eating everything from Indian to Thai to Canadian and everything in between. Her little palate is getting a good work out from butter chicken with naan bread, chicken shawarma and maybe a small chunk of steak once in awhile as we don't eat a lot of that. Almost everything I make here she eats as well, except for a few things which get pretty spicy, for her not for me.

Restaurant Review

We went to Banff a couple of weeks ago for one night to get out of town and relax. For lunch we ate at Coyotes Southwestern Grill. This a nice little place we go to for breakfast normally, but we didn't get out there until 11 am so lunch was on tap. We didn't really have anything to eat for breakfast, just a small bowl of fruit with a little yogurt, granola and ground flax seed over top. Good thing to start the day with, but it was a pretty tiny bowl. We shared the Warm Shrimp and Goat Cheese Wrap,


and the Fresh Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread.


Both were great dishes with lots of flavors. Who would've thunk the flatbread would be that good, but it  is definitely something I would order again. It was a lot of food and we couldn't quite finish them off. We were both nicely full and even O ate some of the flatbread. We will definitely keep going back when we go out again, more than likely in two weeks. We decided O should experience more travelling and spend more time in the fresh air out in the wonderful Rocky Mountains.


We stayed at The Rimrock Hotel last time and it was great as usual. This next time we will be staying at The Fairmont Banff Springs (seen below). Both are pretty swanky, but well worth the money. The Fairmont is where The Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival  happens every year in May. If you get a chance, check it out. It's a lot of fun.


In the next post I will talk about our dinner at the Three Ravens Restaurant, where we went for dinner later that evening.

Quote Of The day:

"Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I will eat for a lifetime."

~ Chinese proverb


Until next time, good eating everyone.

Mark

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