Baked Fish Fillets and Mussels with Lemon, Tomato, and Red Capsicum Puree

Have you ever made a dish that was so flavorful that you wanted to make it again and again, and you think you won’t get sick of it? This recipe adapted from Baked Fish Fillets with Lemon & Red Capsicum Puree. I made a few changes, such as adding cabbage and mussels, and a roasted tomato to the puree. It goes great with fried potatoes or even rice.

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Ingredients:
1 large red capsicum (bell pepper)
1 medium tomato
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
6 fillets of white fish (approximately 4 ounces) each (I used tilapia)
10 half-shell New Zealand mussels
1 cup cut cabbage leaves
4 or 5 dried bay leaves
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley chopped finely
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Cut the capsicum into quarters, removing the membrane and seeds. Place capsicum and tomato onto a baking tray skin side up and roast until the skin has darkened.
2. Place the capsicum, tomato, garlic, olive oil, coriander seeds, lemon juice, salt and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
3. Place the cabbage leaves in an oiled baking dish. Season fish fillets and mussels with salt and black pepper, and place on top of cabbage. Pour the capsicum and tomato puree over the fish, scatter the bay leaves, and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 400˚C (200˚F). Test fish is ready by inserting the point of a knife into the center of a fillet. If the fish is white and flaky, it is ready. If not, place back in the oven for another few minutes.
4. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the fish and serve at once.

3 servings

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Thai Red Curry Mussels

This is similar to the Thai Red Curry recipe I had posted before, but here you can put mussels instead. You can also add scallops, shrimp, and other kinds of shellfish.

Ingredients:
2 pounds mussels
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:
1. Clean and de-beard the mussels.
2. Film a large pot with olive oil and set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the peppers. Cook until they are soft and the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook another 30 seconds.
3. Add the curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce to the vegetables, and stir to coat evenly. Pour the coconut milk and chicken broth into the pot. Bring the curry to a simmer and let it cook until reduced and slightly thickened.
4. Add the mussels to the pan and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until all the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that haven’t fully opened after 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the mussels and curry to a serving bowl. Squeeze half the lime over top and tuck the remaining wedges around the bowl. Eat immediately.

2 servings

Thai Red Curry

After going to the Rainbow Thai restaurant in Boeblingen, I felt inspire to make my own curry. Curry has always been one of those dishes that I never fully succeeded in making. It was usually too bland, not spicy enough, or just tasted funky. However, I think I finally got it! You add almost any kind of vegetable to this; potatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoon red curry paste
10 large shrimps
1 tablespoon oil
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 onion, sliced
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch
1 eggplant, cubed
1 cup green beans
1 tomato, cubed

Directions:
1. Heat up a wok with cooking oil. Saute the red curry paste until aromatic. Add sliced onions.
2.  Add coconut milk and water, and bring the curry to boil.
3.  Add the shrimp, carrot, eggplant, and green beans. Simmer on low heat until cooked.
4.  Add fish sauce and sugar, and stir-continuously for 1o seconds. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.

2 servings

Cioppino

There’s nothing like a bowl of mussels, fish, and shrimp in a tomato broth on a cloudy, rainy day. 🙂

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Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 can tomato sauce
1/2 can chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup white wine
1 tomato, chopped
10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 cod filet, cubed

Directions:
1. Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large stockpot. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.
2. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, bay leaf, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, tomato, and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the shrimp, mussels, and fish. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams open. Serve warm.

2 servings

Ca Kho To (Vietnamese Braised Fish)

When my mom cooked, really cooked, it was almost like perfection. She wouldn’t use a recipe or a book, everything she knew was from her head. This was one of those dishes. My mom wasn’t a big fan of meat, but she sure loved seafood…shrimp, fish, clams, abalone. She made this dish from time to time when she was in the mood, and every time, it was always wonderful. Memories of it has inspired me to make it myself. The Ca Kho To recipe I used is from The Ravenous Couple, a food blog with various Vietnamese dishes. It turned out pretty tasty, although I was lacking two things, a clay pot and catfish (I haven’t been able to find catfish in Germany). Instead, I used a regular pot and salmon steaks. And I need to wait for the sauce to carmelize a little more next time.