I’m not going to lie to you. This recipe has been popping up everywhere lately. It called to me! After seeing it on a few favorite food sites, all in a relatively short time span, I decided to go ahead and give these green beans a whirl.
The fish was, at first, an afterthought, but it is now set to go into heavy menu rotation — especially good since we still have about half of this to plow through.
Now then, where was I?
Oh, right – a pretty classy weeknight meal that can spruce up for company. It’s fairly economical, pretty good for you and it’s also a cinch to make. PLUS – isn’t it pretty?
We start with the fish. After allowing the fillets to defrost in the refrigerator, we pulled them out and covered them in pan-searing flour, which is nothing more than finely milled flour with a little salt and pepper thrown in. So please don’t think you have to spend extra money on this — just use what you have on hand.
It is very important that you remove all of the excess flour, however, because you don’t want it coming off in clumps and sticking to the bottom of your pan. Just give the fillets a good shake – the excess will fall right off.
Warm up a bit of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, it’s time to add the fish. Just throw it in and don’t move it – part of the searing process is keeping the flesh in constant contact with the heat source – so no fidgeting and messing with this!
Let the fish cook for about three minutes per side. A handy tip here is to watch the ‘color’ creep up the fillet about halfway. One of the recipes I looked at described the fillet as turning “paper bag brown,” which is a beautiful description, quite frankly. That’s what you’re looking for.
Flip the fish and let it finish cooking through, about three to five minutes.
Once the fish is done, just remove to a clean plate. I put the whole thing in the oven on super low heat, just to make sure it stayed warm.
Now, once the fish was flipped, I threw a bag of steam-in-bag fresh green beans into the microwave. You can use fresh green beans (steamed or boiled) or even frozen green beans. You’ll want about 12 ounces.
The beans were almost cooked through, but we’re going to finish them in the same pan where we cooked the fish. Reduce the heat to low and throw in any liquid you have on hand to deglaze the bottom of the pan – there will be a few spots where the fish sticks. We used vodka, because we’re crazy like that.
Once the alcohol or liquid or whatever burns off, add a bit more oil to the pan and throw in one shallot, finely diced. Shallots are like a perfect cross between onions and garlic – they add really interesting flavor, but won’t overpower your dish. Let the shallot cook down and add your green beans. Stir them around, just to get them all coated in the oil.
Now, here comes the wow factor.
Throw in one whole can of stewed tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes just a bit. You don’t want this to be super soupy, but a little extra liquid is OK. Just let everything hang out in the pan and get introduced – about three minutes, or until you just have to eat this RIGHT NOW!
To round out this meal, we served multi-grain rolls with a bit of lemon and dill butter. It was a perfect complement to the fish, which we also topped with a pinch of dry dill just before serving.
If you think you don’t like fish, try this one. It’s down home cooking with a modern twist.