"This recipe for Snapper with Carrot-Curry Sauce over Couscous is simple enough for everyday, elegant enough for company"
The making of Snapper with Carrot-Curry Sauce over Couscous
This recipe for Snapper with Carrot-Curry Sauce over Couscous came about because I was looking for a recipe/technique to cook my Christmas goose.
Sometimes when looking for a certain recipe, I get lost in my cookbooks. This was one of those journeys when looking for A - I find B.
BB loves couscous. I love easy, especially on days when I know a lot of cooking and prepping is coming up. And hardly any grain can be made easier than couscous. Bring stock to a boil, add couscous, cover and let sit for 5 minutes, fluff and serve. Now know that this is not "true" couscous as would be made in North Africa where the process is quite involved and takes hours, The couscous sold in boxes in our American stores is already cooked and just needs to re-hydrate.
Fish is a staple in our house. We eat a lot of fish - snapper is easy to come by and cooks quickly. Another easy.
So here I am, looking for goose recipes, and I thought I'd look in a cookbook given to me by the then Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit magazine, Lynn Hyler, titled Great American Food, by Chef Charlie Palmer thinking there would certainly be a goose recipe in it, but no...not to be. However, I found the idea for this recipe. Making a few modifications and taking it out of chef 'speak' I transformed it into a remarkably good, simple preparation for dinner. Really, depending on how long it takes you to cut your veggies, this dinner can be on the table in as short as 15 minutes...and even if you are not an expert, I can't see how it could take you longer than 45 minutes from start to finish...unless of course, the kids, the dog, the spouse or someone/thing else demands your attention.
The simple vegetable preparation stirred into the couscous brings so much flavor. The fish is simple and quick, with just a bit of a crunch from the flour. The delicious well rounded, carrot-curry sauce brings the whole thing together for a very satisfying meal that is good enough to make any day, but truly elegant enough for company.
Wine Recommendation: The sauce lends itself to a fruity white wine such as a Condrieu from the Rhone Valley or a good substitute would be a Viognier.
Snapper with Carrot-Curry Sauce over Couscous
- For the Curry-Carrot Sauce
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 - 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ½ cup dry white wine or white vermouth
- 1 cup Lindy's Fish Stock or canned fish stock or clam juice
- ⅓ cup carrot juice
- 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
- 1 - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon water or fish stock
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
- For the Couscous
- 1 small carrot finely diced
- 1 celery stalk finely diced
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- ¼ cup finely diced ripe tomato canned is fine, actually, it's preferable
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock* divided
- 1 cup couscous
- For the Snapper
- 4 6 - 7 ounce snapper fillets, or other thin white fish, all bones removed
- ½ cup superfine flour such as Wondra
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
- Prepare the Carrot-Curry Sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery and carrots cook until soft, about 3 - 4 minutes; stir in the garlic and curry powder; cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, cook 3 - 4 minutes or until reduced by half; add the fish stock, cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and hold on the stove.
- Prepare the Couscous: Heat 1 cup of the stock in a small pot fitted with a lid, until it comes to a boil. Stir in the couscous.* Remove from heat, cover, and allow the couscous to absorb all the liquid, about 5 minutes. While the couscous is "blooming"; heat the oil in a small sauté pan; add the carrot, celery, and onion. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes; add the tomatoes, cayenne, and salt to taste; then add the remaining stock. Allow to cook until the stock is almost all gone, about 4 minutes. Stir into the cooked couscous and keep warm.
- Prepare the Snapper: While all the other elements are cooking or sitting and waiting, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper; lightly sprinkle the flour evenly over the filets, when the oil is hot, add the fillets, seasoned side down; cook until lightly browned, about 2 - 3 minutes. Carefully turn and cook 2 -3 minutes or until just done.
- Return the carrot-curry sauce to the heat; bring to a boil and add the carrot juice along with the herbs; cook for 2 - 3 minutes; add some of the cornstarch "slurry" if you want a thicker sauce. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- To Serve: In a large, warmed shallow bowl, split the couscous evenly, place a fish filet on top and spoon the sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.