Fish fries aren’t the only option for Fridays

There are myriad healthy ways to make fish the centerpiece of end-of-the-week Lenten meals

    It’s the Lenten season, when Catholics and many others partake in the tradition of eating meatless meals each Friday, a recognition of the sacrifice Jesus made on Good Friday.
    Fish is a popular — and heart-healthy — choice. There are a wide variety of fish,  and a multitude of ways to prepare it.        It can be baked with a crispy crust, offering the same delicious taste as fried with fewer calories.
    It can be roasted with vegetables to bring new flavors to life.
    It can be crusted with herbs or potatoes to retain moisture during cooking.
    It can be used in a stew or soup, adding a tasty yet healthful flair to a Lenten meal.
    Fish is a delicious source of protein that’s low in fat. A three-ounce cooked serving of most fish provides about 20 grams of protein, roughly one-third of the average daily recommended amount. The protein in fish is of high quality, containing an abundance of essential amino acids.
    When selecting fish, check to see how it smells. If it smells fishy, it’s not fresh. The color of fresh fish fillets varies, but it should always be bright and uniform, never yellow at the edges. The flesh should be moist, firm and cleanly cut. The flesh should never be partially thawed or covered with ice crystals, a sign of thawing and refreezing.
    Refrigerate raw fish in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Use a thermometer and keep the refrigerator set between 34 and 40 degrees. It’s best to use fresh fish within one to two days.
    The standard rule is to bake fish 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. Turn the fish halfway through cooking, unless it’s 1/2 inch or less. To ensure fillets cook evenly, tuck thin ends under.
    Following are some fish dishes from



Broiled Salmon With Scallions and Sesame

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for serving
3 8-ounce skin-on, center-cut salmon fillets
Kosher salt
1 bunch scallions
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced

    Whisk garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds in a small bowl.
    Season salmon fillets with salt and place in a resealable plastic bag, then add half the marinade. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and let salmon sit 30 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade.
    Toss scallions with remaining oil on sizzle platter or rimmed baking sheet. Broil about three minutes, until lightly charred. Remove salmon from marinade and set on top of scallions. Spoon some reserved marinade over the fish, then broil about six minutes, until salmon is charred around edges. Spoon more reserved marinade over salmon and place chile on top. Broil about two minutes, until salmon is charred and medium-rare at thickest part. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds.



Swordfish Steaks With Cherry Tomatoes and Capers

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 1-inch-thick swordfish steaks, about 1-1/2 pounds total
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained, finely chopped
2 15-ounce cans cherry tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
Lemon wedges

    Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil in a 2-quart baking dish. Add swordfish steaks and turn to coat, then season with salt and pepper.
    Toss onion, anchovies, tomatoes, capers, vinegar, and remaining oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and arrange around fish.
    Broil five to eight minutes, until fish is golden brown and tomatoes are starting to blister. Turn fish and broil five to seven minutes, until fish is opaque throughout and tomatoes have burst and are blistered in spots.
    Top with oregano and serve with lemon wedges.
    You can substitute another firm-fleshed fish, such as cod, halibut or salmon for swordfish.


Cod With Romesco Sauce, Hazelnuts, Lemon and Parsley

For romesco sauce:
1/3 cup blanched hazelnuts
6 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
4 red bell peppers
1 medium tomato, halved crosswise, seeded
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For fish:
4 6-ounce skinless cod fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups parsley leaves with tender stems

    For romesco sauce, place hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for seven to 10 minutes, tossing once, until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool, then smash nuts with a mortar and pestle until very coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt. Set aside.
    Place peppers and tomatoes, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet, in the upper third of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, turning peppers occasionally until charred all around and flesh is soft.
    Slip off tomato skins and discard. Transfer peppers to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam a bit. Peel peppers and discard seeds.Coarsely chop.
    Transfer peppers and tomatoes to a mortar and pestle and smash, until mixture achieves a saucy consistency. You can also place peppers and tomatoes in a food processor and pulsing.
    Transfer romesco sauce to a medium bowl. Add garlic, vinegar, paprika, cayenne, and remaining oil. Season with salt and let sit 15 minutes.
    Place fish on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with with 2 tablespoons oil, then season with salt on both sides. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through and a paring knife can easily slip through flesh. Top with zest while fish is hot.
    Toss parsley, lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Spoon romesco onto plates, then spoon reserved oily hazelnuts over sauce. Arrange fish over, then top with parsley mixture.



Red Snapper With Sambal

4 red snapper fillets
Kosher salt
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chili paste
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Olive oil
Lime wedges

    Using a very sharp blade, draw a knife down the length of one snapper fillet to make parallel 1/4-inch deep cuts spaced 1/2 inch apart from end to end. Cutting on a diagonal, make parallel cuts to create 1/2-inch diamonds or squares in a crosshatch pattern. Repeat with remaining fillets.
    Season both sides of snapper with salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Combine garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, chili paste and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spoon over snapper, making sure marinade penetrates score marks.
    Drizzle snapper with oil and broil five minutes, until charred in spots and cooked through. Serve with lime wedges.


Foolproof Fish With Spiced Chickpeas

2 shallots
1/2 cup raisins, preferably golden
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 garlic cloves
1-1/2-inch piece ginger
2 medium or 3 small carrots
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
1-1/2 pound piece of whitefish, such as cod, halibut, haddock or hake
1 cup mint leaves

    Peel 2 shallots. Cut in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise. Divide shallots between a medium bowl and a small bowl.
    Coarsely chop raisins and transfer to medium bowl with shallots.
    Add red wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to shallot mixture and toss gently to combine. Set both bowls aside.
    Peel 3 garlic cloves, then thinly slice.
    Using a spoon, peel ginger, then finely chop. Rinse carrots well. Slice as thinly as possibly into coins on a diagonal.
    Drain and rinse chickpeas.
    Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium cast-iron skillet and heat over medium. Add reserved shallots (not shallot-raisin mixture). Cook three to five minutes, stirring occasionally, until light golden in color.
    Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and crushed red pepper flakes and cook one minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
    Increase heat to medium-high and add chickpeas, carrots, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook three to four minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined and well coated. Remove pan from heat.
    Cut whitefish into even portions if needed to fit in pan. Season fish on all sides with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Nestle fish into chickpea mixture in pan and transfer to oven. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until flesh just begins to flake away easily with light pressure from a fork, looks juicy, and is barely opaque.
    Coarsely chop mint and add to bowl with reserved shallot-raisin mixture. Add remaining olive oil and toss to combine.
    Spoon mint salsa over fish. Divide among plates or serve from skillet.


Salmon and Broccolini

3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded
1 garlic clove
Kosher salt
Finely grated zest from 1/4 grapefruit
1 teaspoon honey
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch broccolini, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 5 to 6-ounce skin-on, boneless salmon fillets
1 Belgian endive, leaves separated, torn into large pieces
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds

    Finely chop jalapeños and garlic on a cutting board, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Crush with the side of a chef’s knife until broken down into a coarse mash. Transfer to a small bowl and add grapefruit zest, honey and 2 tablespoons oil, then toss to combine. Set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add broccolini and cook five to six minutes, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp-tender. Transfer to a plate.
    Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium. Season salmon with salt and cook six to seven minutes, skin side down, until skin is browned and crisp. Turn and cook on flesh side about one minute, until cooked through.
    Arrange broccolini and endive on a platter and season with salt. Arrange salmon on top. Stir grapefruit juice and vinegar into dressing and drizzle over salmon, then top with sesame seeds.


Rice Bowls With Flaky Cod

2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed, drained well
2 5 to 6-ounce cod fillets
Kosher salt
1/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced on a bias
1/2 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
Lime wedges

    Cook eggs in a small saucepan of simmering water for nine minutes. Transfer to a bowl of very cold water and let cool three minutes, until just warm. Peel and set aside.
    Melt ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic four to five minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Add curry powder, followed by rice and 1-1/4 cups water. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, until rice is nearly tender.
    Season fish generously with salt and a pinch of curry powder. Place fish on rice and cook eight to 10 minutes, covered, until rice is tender and fish flakes apart when poked with a finger or fork.
    Divide yogurt among bowls. Top with fish and rice. Halve eggs and arrange alongside. Top with celery and cilantro and serve with lime wedge.


Sheet Pan Salmon and Squash With Miso Mojo

1 delicata squash, halved
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt
1 pound boneless salmon fillet
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white miso
2 small serrano chiles, sliced into thin rings

    Scoop out squash seeds. Cut squash lengthwise into 1-inch strips, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Toss squash, cauliflower, onion and 3 tablespoons oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and season with salt. Roast on top rack of a 425-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are browned all over and tender.
    Drizzle salmon lightly with oil and season all over with salt. Push vegetables to one side of baking sheet, then place salmon on other side. Spread pumpkin seeds on a small rimmed baking sheet. Bake salmon and vegetables on lower rack of a 300-degree oven and pumpkin seeds on top rack for 12 to 16 minutes, until fish is just firm in the center and opaque and seeds are golden.
    Whisk orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, miso and remaining oil in a small bowl until miso dissolves. Stir in chiles and season with salt.
    Break salmon into large pieces. Arrange vegetables on a platter, then top with salmon. Drizzle with dressing and scatter pumpkin seeds over top.
    Dressing can be made two days ahead and stored covered and chilled.


Crispy Fish With Brown Butter Sauce and Kohlrabi Salad

1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 small kohlrabi, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 large green apple, cut into quarters lengthwise, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 5 to 6-ounce skin-on Chilean sea bass or salmon fillets
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, blanched hazelnuts
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Lemon wedges

    Whisk honey, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil, and salt in a large bowl. Add kohlrabi, apple and onion and toss to coat. Set aside.
    Swirl remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet to coat. Season fish generously on both sides with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in cold skillet. Set over medium heat and cook about four minutes, until fat starts to cook out of fish. Gently press on fillets with a spatula so skin makes good contact with pan and keep pressing, cycling from one fillet to the next every few seconds, until skin starts to crisp.
    Cook without pressing for eight to 10 minutes, until skin is super crisp and flesh is mostly opaque. Turn over and cook one minute, until completely opaque. Place skin side up on plates.
    Wipe out skillet and return to medium heat. Cook hazelnuts and butter four minutes, swirling pan often, until butter foams, then browns. Remove from heat and stir in remaining lemon juice. Season brown butter sauce with salt and pepper.
    Toss kohlrabi salad and serve alongside fish fillets, leaving excess dressing behind. Spoon brown butter sauce over fish and salad and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.




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