Seafood Escabeche

escabeche3 escabeche2 escabeche1I made this seafood escabeche last weekend based on this recipe (recipe reprinted below).  I left out the allspice berries (didn’t have them) and the jalapeno (I thought it would make it too spicy).  We ate this two nights in a row and the meal was MUCH improved the second night with some medium-spicy salsa– it was just too bland without it.  We dumped out all of the vinegar after the first night to avoid having things get too mushy.

The good: there were lots of vegetables in this dish and I thought it was pretty healthy; it made enough that it lasted the two of us two nights; because of the vinegar the fish didn’t have a “fishy” taste the second night; it was pretty different from what we’ve been eating and it was a nice change; it was a nice cold dish for a warm evening; you can make it ahead of time and just pull it out of the fridge come dinnertime.

The bad: it took a relatively long time to make, lots of chopping and frying; the vinegar taste was a litter overpowering, especially without the salsa on the first night; it probably would have been easier to just use these same ingredients on the grill to make fajitas, and I think I might have liked this more; it called for a thin flaky white fish, so we weren’t able to use the best fish that we have available this time of year in the pacific northwest.

I’d make it again, but it wasn’t my favorite.

We used our Le Creuset roasting pan for this.  It was OK, but I think I would have preferred a white oval porcelain dish for this, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for a dish like this.  The main problem with using this Le Creuset roasting pan for this dish was that the dish heated up when I put the cooked food in it, so it took longer for the whole thing to cool down when I put it in the fridge.  Not a deal-breaker, but not ideal, either.

Recipe:

Serves 6

Salt and freshly ground pepper
Six 6-ounce thin fillets of white flakey fish (Alaska cod, black cod, sole, rockfish, and pollock), cut into 3-inch pieces
1/2 cup flour, for dredging
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 large sweet onion, julienned
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
2 red bell peppers, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 cup sherry vinegar or good quality white vinegar
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, sliced in thin rings (seeded if you are spice wimp like me)
2 bay leaves
6 allspice berries
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
18 small corn or flour tortillas, for serving
chopped fresh tomato, for serving
sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving

1.  Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper over fish fillets. Dredge both sides of each piece of fish in flour.
2.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Working in batches, sauté fillets on one side for 2 minutes to get a golden hue, then gently flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove fish from the pan (they will be slightly undercooked but the vinegar will finish the cooking process as it marinates the fish) and place into a non-reactive glass or ceramic baking dish.
3.  Wipe out the skillet and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place the skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrots. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to soften them slightly. Add peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add vinegar and bring mixture to a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sliced chiles, bay leaves, allspice berries, and parsley. Pour this mixture over the fish. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 12 hours.
Serve the fish at room temperature, with warm tortillas, chopped tomato, and cold sour cream or Greek yogurt.

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