Now herb nuts can go fishing for flavor

FAST & FRESH

December 15, 1993|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

With an investment of only a few minutes of time, you can jTC concoct this scrumptious, low-fat meal. The crunchy crown for the fish fillet seals in the juices and adds a lively nut and herb flavor. Any whitefish fillet will work for this dish as long as it is at least 3/4 -inch thick. Other suggestions are grouper, cod, red snapper or halibut.

Spaghetti squash is a most interesting vegetable full of vitamins, especially beta carotene.

When cooked, the delicate flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands. The fastest way to cook it is to pierce it deeply with a fork, place it in a microwave-safe dish with a small amount of water and cover with microwavable plastic wrap.

Microwave on high for about 20 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn yourself since the cooked squash holds a lot of heat. Let it rest a few minutes before opening and scooping out the pulp.

Green peas add brilliance of color and still remain a favorite vegetable. The frozen variety is recommended and can be microwaved while the squash cools enough to handle.

A fresh-baked pear filled with a treasure pocket of crumbled ginger snaps and Amaretto is a refreshing dessert and there is no need to peel the fruit. Halve, make a well by scooping out the seeds and core, drizzle each half with Amaretto and then fill with crushed cookies.

The stuffed pear halves can be heated while you eat dinner by placing on a microwavable plate and zapping for 6 to 8 minutes.

Items you should have as staples are: 1 fresh lemon, salt and pepper, olive oil, garlic, 2 slices fresh bread, 2 tablespoons chopped pecans (or other nuts), peas, Amaretto.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:

4 ( 3/4 -inch thick) orange roughy fillets

1 bunch fresh basil

spaghetti squash

2 large pears

` gingersnap cookies

Baked orange roughy

with pecan pesto crust

Serves 4

4 ( 3/4 -inch thick) orange roughy fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 to 2 large slices fresh bread, torn to equal 1 cup crumbs

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place fish fillets on a baking sheet with low sides and douse each with lemon juice, salt and pepper and then drizzle the tops only with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.

In a food processor, mince garlic then add bread crumbs, basil and nuts and process until coarsely chopped. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Place equal amounts of the crumb mixture on top of each fillet. Press gently to secure.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is firm but flaky and moist inside.

MENU

Baked orange roughy

with pecan pesto crust

Spaghetti squash

Peas

Gingershap-stuffed

pears

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