This is my post fro this week's Weekend Herb Blogging. Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly event that brings bloggers from around the world together as they explore a plant of herb. The rules for WHB are here.
I had to laugh when I read Kalyn's postsuggesting that the event should be renamed Weekend Cilantro Blogging because she has featured that herb so often! I'm with you on that one. This week's round up is hosted by Haalo, who now official herb mistress after Kalyn gave up her official duties. Here's more about how to enter WHB if you'd like to participate.
I've posted more about cilatro after the recipe.
Did you hear a loud purring coming from the north on Sunday night? That would have been me purring in contentment at Paul's latest dinner offerings. It is really a shame that he only cooks once a week. I should do something about that.
I guess that he was inspired by our Thai cooking class on Saturday because when he saw this recipe in the latest Cuisine at Home recipe collection he decided to give it a whirl. The result was stellar - a thick fillet of halibut marinated in cilantro and lime, grilled, and then served in a broth made of coconut milk with a delicious hint of spicy pepper.
This is not authentic Thai, as you can tell by a few of the ingredients, but it definitely has the Thai taste. It is true to the central principle of Thai cooking - combining flavours that are sweet, salty, spicy, and sour. A few bites of this and your taste buds will be singing with the excitment!
Even better - the good folks at Cuisine at Home have lightened up the recipe. The fish and the broth comes out at about 460 calories. Add a salad and you have a delicious low-calorie meal that is flavourful, healthy, and filling.
Grilled Cilantro Fish in Coconut Broth
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon lime juice -- divided
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (4 to 6 ounce) fresh halibut or grouper fillets
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
Minced zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup lite coconut milk
3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 Serrano or Thai chile pepper -- thinly sliced
1/4 cup diced sweet red peppers
Torn fresh mint leaves
Coat grill with nonstick spray; preheat to medium-high.
Mince cilantro and garlic with 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt and pepper flakes in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil and transfer mixture to a shallow bowl. Add fish and marinate for 15 minutes.
Saute shallots, ginger root and zest in vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, broth, sugar, fish sauce and remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice. Simmer broth for 2 minutes. Stir in chile pepper. Reduce heat to low, and keep broth warm.
Remove fish from marinade, discarding remaining marinade. Grill fish over direct heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn fillets over; cover, and cook until firm, 5-7 minutes more.
To serve, divide broth between two bowls, add fish, and garnish with sweet pepper and mint leaves.
Serving Ideas : Serve with Thai Mango Salad.
NOTES : Marinate fish in a shallow bowl, turning fillets often to coat all sides.
Avoid browning the shallots, ginger root and lemon zest, as it will affect the final color of the broth.
One of the key features of this week's entry is the cilantro (aka coriander) that is used int he fish marinade. In the interest of full disclosure let me be upfront and inform you that we LOVE cilantro. It is a rare week when we don't have a bunch of the stuff in the fridge. In fact, this week I think that we went through not one but two bunches!
Others are not so blessed. In fact, some folk even claim to hate cilantro. I have heard folk describe its taste as akin to soap or bug spray (why they are eating soap or bug spray I do not know but clearly they have issues)! There is even a website: I Hate Cilantro which has been set up to share stories and strategies for eradicating this 'weed' from the world.
Personally, I hope that they fail! Cilantro is a key ingredient in numerous ethnic cuisines which we enjoy - particularly Thai and Mexican. I've tried Thai food without cilantro and folks, it just isn't worth it at all!
Recent studies have discovered that cilantro is rich in calcium, iron, carotenes, and vitamin C. The herb has also been found to be one of the few substances that can actually remove toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, and aluminum, from the central nervous system. That is great news for those with neurological disorders worsened by toxic overload to say nothing for the rest of use who are exposed to these elements on a daily basis from environmental pollution.
You can find out lots of information about cilantro here.