Snapper and Sweet Potatoes Braised in Burned Garlic and Pine Nut Paste

February 24, 2007

Snapper and Sweet Potatoes Braised in Burned Garlic and Pine Nut Paste

Lisa Janz, Tucson CSA

1 1/2 snapper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tblsp pine nuts
4 slices of stale baguette, cut into cubes
one bulb of garlic, thickly sliced
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (divided into two piles)
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tblsp sherry (or I use my Dad’s mead)
1 plum tomato, halved and grated (skin will be left behind, discard)
2 cups water
2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash and clean fish, cut into even pieces about 1 inch thick and 2×3 inches in size. Lightly sprinkle with salt.

2. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot add pine nuts. Fry, stirring often until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to food processor or blender. Add bread to oil and fry until golden. Add to processor. Add garlic slices, reduce heat to low, and cook until slices turn deep golden brown. Stir regularly and watch carefully so garlic doesn’t burn. This should take 10-15 minutes. Add garlic to processor and combine with 1 tsp of parsley, cayenne, sherry and 3 tblsp of water. Blend until the mixture reaches a smooth purée.

3. Add grated tomatoes to remaining oil and cook over medium heat until browned and reduced to about 1/3 original volume. This will take about 15 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer(the recipe can be prepared a few hours in advance up to this point).

4. Add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes, until they are tender. Stir in the nut paste and blend. Allow to simmer for a couple minutes.

5. Rinse fish and pat dry. Slid fish pieces into the pan in a single layer. Cook over low heat, partially covered, for about 5 minutes. At this point the fish should be cooked half  through. Turn the fish and add the cherry tomatoes.  Simmer about 8 more minutes until fish is a bit flaky, but still moist. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with remaining parsley.

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