Not every recipe comes with a good story.
This is one of them, because the story is this…I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light and though to myself, I think I will try this. And I did.
The snapper is wild caught and the fennel and blood oranges are in season. The fish is lightly salted and peppered, and a splash of lemon and white wine finish it off. It took less than 30 minutes to prepare and they boyfriend and I were able to sit down in our messy apartment to enjoy a lunch that looks and tastes a lot fancier than it really is.
I prepared the salad first. Taking my little blood orange in hand, I sliced away the peel and segmented the citrusy beast. For this recipe, I only used half a bulb of fennel, as this is likely the first time I’ve ever eaten it raw to my knowledge, and I’m not a big fan of the anise/licorice flavor, but it’s in season and fresh, and something I’d like to try.
The original recipe calls for reserving the juice, but having only one blood orange I just went to the fridge for a dash of Simply Orange orange juice. I tossed in some salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and let that sit for a few minutes while I prepared the fish.
My fish had a few pin bones in it, but I took care of those with a pair of tweezers. I also doused it in milk for a few minutes to take away any potential fishy smell or flavor. Because this was lunch for two, I split the fillet in half, lightly salted and peppered them, and let them sit for a minuet as I heated up the pan.
I melted a tablespoon of butter into a hot pan and placed the fish down to cook, about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. I placed mine down with the skin-side up, and when I flipped them over, it was then that I sprinkled on a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of white wine.
So here is my recipe–a modification of the one found in Cooking Light. Regular naval oranges can be used in place of the blood oranges, but then, where’s the fun in that?
Blood Orange and Fennel Salad
- 1 blood orange, segmented
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 /2 medium fennel bulb with stalks, sliced thin
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 fillets red snapper, 6-8oz each
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Peel and section orange.
- Thinly slice fennel bulb; and reserve about 1 teaspoon of the fronds. Discard stalks.
- Place orange sections, fennel fronds, and sliced fennel in a medium bowl. Combine with orange juice, olive oil, salt, and fresh ground black pepper, tossing well to coat.
- Debone and pat dry fish fillets. Heat a large pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side. When you are cooking the fish on the second side, drizzle with the lemon juice and white wine until the wine cooks off. Fish will flake easily when done.
- Remove from heat and plate. Top with salad.