Monday, September 16, 2013

Autumn Red Snapper with Seasonal Vegetables and a Basil Sauce

There is a constant thinking among Singaporeans that fine dining cooking is out of the reach of the common man on the street, and fine dining food can only be found in expensive restaurants in places like Marina Bay Sands.

It is ludicrous the rates these places are charging, and despite the astronomical prices, it is, to me, not something that is so earth shattering that I will break the bank for it.

It is time that Singaporeans get their heads around cooking at home, and cooking for the right reasons. And just what are the right reasons you may ask?

For one, it is always more healthy to cook at home than to eat outside at commercial places. You are able to control your own salt and oil content, and you use fresh oil for that matter. It is deplorable how unhealthy it is when you know that most places reuse oil, especially for fried foods.

The other reason, and more crucially is that you simply do get better tasting food at home. But how can a home cook be better than a commercial chef? Well, for one, if you have a passion to cook and learn the right techniques, you can reproduce a lot of outside food right in your own home.

When you cook at home, you have the ability to make everything fresh, and do not rely on prepared sauces and stocks. Conversely, a lot of Singaporeans resort to canned, bottled, packaged food for their own home consumption, which is horribly bad.

So why am I going on about this? It is just that it is time that Singaporeans learn to cook and cook well and cook correctly. Stop relying on food outside and you do not have to be a vegan in order to be healthy.

That is why, today I present my very easy to do red snapper dish that tastes and looks like a restaurant dish, but it can be literally cooked in 20 minutes.

Cook the vegetables first. You can use a combination of squash, zucchini  and eggplants. Slice them thinly and lightly saute them with just a touch of olive oil. Season with lots of pepper and a tiny amount of salt.

Once they are cooked, remove the vegetables but do not pour away the oil as it is quite fragrant and you can use it for the red snapper. Just make sure there are no burnt bits in the pan.

Season the snapper fillets with salt and pepper and add in some additional olive oil. Place the fillets skin side down and wait until the fillets are halfway cooked. Flip them over and baste them with butter for another 2 minutes and set aside to rest.

To make the basil sauce, simply take a bunch of basil leaves and put them in a hand blender. Add in enough olive oil, and some water and season with salt and pepper.

Blitz the mixture until they form a nice syrupy sauce that is almost a pesto minus the pine nuts. Then it is time to plate.

Place the vegetables first, followed by the fillets on top. Drizzle the basil sauce around the white plate in a nice yet somewhat random pattern and there you have it.

The flavors are very clean and refreshing and the basil adds a nice herb perfume to the dish. It looks and tastes as good as any restaurant dish. And it is quick and easy to make in 20 minutes, literally.

Bon appetite.

No comments:

Post a Comment