Fish Chunks On Skewers Make A Quick But Zesty Meal

December 01, 1991|By Charlyne Varkonyi

Fish is one of the best options for quick cooking, but it can make a mundane meal unless you use a little creativity.

Unfortunately, some timid cooks feel insecure about cooking seafood the right way, and they stick to formulas.

They buy the same fish fillets -- flounder one time, salmon the next.

They dab the fish with butter, squirt it with lemon and broil.

Next time try a firm fish that you can put on skewers, such as swordfish or marlin.

Prices vary widely, but if you go to a seafood market like Faidley's in Lexington Market you can find the swordfish for about $9.95 a pound and the marlin for $6.95.

Splash on a zesty marinade and serve with white rice with red onion and green beans, green salad and pumpkin pie.

Start your 30-minute meal by putting the water on to boil for the rice.

Then put together the marinade, and while you are broiling the kebabs, you can saute the onions for the rice and make the salad.

Items you should have in your pantry include: lemon, butter or margarine, Dijon-style mustard, lemon juice, white wine, chicken bouillon cubes, salt and pepper, frozen green peas, salad greens and salad dressing.

Your 10-item or less shopping list should include:

* 1 pound swordfish, marlin or other firm fish

* 8 ounces fresh mushrooms

* 1 medium red onion

* 1 pumpkin pie

Fish chunks on a skewer

Makes 6 skewers.

1 pound swordfish, marlin or other firm fish, cut in 2-inch cubes

8 ounces fresh mushrooms

1 1/2 lemons, cut in 1/4 -inch slices

BASTING SAUCE:

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

1/2 lemon squeezed, 2 tablespoons juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon white wine

Heat broiler and adjust shelf about 4 inches from heating element. To make basting sauce, put butter into glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 minute. Add mustard, lemon juice, white wine and white wine Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.

Start threading fish, mushroom and lemon slices on 6 skewers, making sure to end with a fish chunk. (If you use bamboo skewers, they need to be soaked in water for about 5 minutes first so they won't catch fire in the broiler.)

Place skewers on broiler pan. Using a pastry brush, brush liquid over the fish, mushrooms and lemon. Cook 5 minutes on one side; baste again and cook 5 minutes on other side. Reheat remaining basting sauce on high in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Serve over white rice with red onions and peas.

White rice with red onions and peas

2 cups water

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 cup white rice

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon margarine

1 small red onion or 1/4 cup, chopped coarsely

1 cup frozen green peas, rinsed in hot water

ground black pepper, to taste, optional

Put water in saucepan with lid and bring to boil. Add rice and salt, turn down to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, adding peas during the last 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt margarine and saute onion until soft, about 3 minutes. When rice is done, add sauteed onions.

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