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Flounder Baked in Fig Leaves

Since our fig tree is recalcitrant when it comes to producing ripe fruit, I decided to use some of its abundant leaves instead. Did you know that fig leaves are edible? They’re kind of tough to eat without boiling first, but for this kind of recipe, they’re perfect. They keep the fish moist, and impart a delicate flavor to what’s inside. Don’t turn away if you don’t have a fig tree — this recipe can easily be made with Swiss chard (or grape) leaves instead. But if you have a fig tree, or know someone with one, you will love this recipe. It’s easy, it’s delicious, it’s low in calories and it’s good for you to boot. Cut a nice size leaf or two from your tree for each fish filet, and place it on a baking sheet that has been smeared with olive oil. Center the fish filet in the center of the leaf, then season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. I used a combination of chives, parsley and thyme. Place a couple of lemon slices over the herbs and fish, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Fold the leaves over the fish, overlapping them to hold them in place. If you have a gap where the fish shows through, cut up another leaf and cover the space. Flip the entire leaf-wrapped fish over, so that the flaps are on the underside.

After 15 minutes in the oven, it will look something like this:

Using a long spatula, carefully flip the package of fish and leaves back over so that when you place it on your plate, you’ll be able to peel back the leaf easily and reveal the fish. The lemon will have softened enough that just pressing gently with a fork will release the remaining lemon juice onto the fish. Then bite into and enjoy a very moist, delicious piece of flounder.

If I can’t enjoy a bounty of figs from my tree, at least I can make use of some of those beautiful leaves.

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Flounder Baked in Fig Leaves
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Flounder (or salmon or snapper) (1 filet per person)
  • fig leaves (1 or 2 large fig leaves per portion)
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • salt, pepper
  • fresh herbs (I used a combination of chives, thyme and parsley)
  • lemon slices
Instructions
  1. Rinse the fig leaves.
  2. Spread a little olive oil on a cookie sheet.
  3. Lay the fig leaf down, then place a filet of fish on top.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, the minced herbs, then drizzle a little olive oil on top of the fish.
  5. Lay a couple of slices of lemon over the fish.
  6. Close the fig leaf over the fish, then flip it over so that the flaps are on the bottom.
  7. If some of the fish is uncovered, but up another fig leaf and wrap around the exposed parts.
  8. Bake in a 375 degree over for 25 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately with the fig leaves, allowing each person to unwrap the leaves.
 

Fish and Corn Chowder

 It all started with about six ounces of leftover salmon and 1/2 cup of cream. I’m not generally a fan of leftover fish, but as I was driving one day thinking about what to serve for dinner, it occurred to me I had the basis for a creamy chowder sitting in the fridge.
So before I made it home, I picked up six scallops and six large shrimp at the fish store — and a couple of ears of corn at the local farm market.
I had two large cherry tomatoes and a green pepper at home, so that got thrown into the pot too, along with some diced potatoes and herbs.
The recipe is simple – Simmer the base ingredients for about 15 minutes, then add the fish in the last  few
minutes. The scallops and shrimp will need only about 4-5 minutes of
cooking in the hot liquid, and since the salmon was already cooked, it will
need only a minute to heat.
I thickened up the soup a bit by adding another potato that I boiled and mashed.
If you want to eliminate the cream entirely, you can replace it with water and another boiled and mashed potato.
But there is no substitute for that silky feel you get when heavy cream is used.
Leftover salmon never tasted so good.
The winner of the giveaway on my last blog post, a copy of Jamie Schler’s new cookbook, “Orange Appeal,” is Faith Bahadurian, chosen by a random number generator. Congratulations Faith.Want more Ciao Chow Linda? Check out my Instagram page here to see more of what I’m cooking up each day.

You can also connect with Ciao Chow Linda here on Facebook, here for Pinterest or  here for Twitter.

Fish and Corn Chowder
Printable Recipe Here

1 six-ounce piece of leftover salmon (or start with a fresh, uncooked piece)
6 large raw shrimp
6 large scallops
2 ears of corn on the cob, scraped of the kernels
3 small potatoes, two of them diced
2 T. butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green pepper
1 large garlic clove
water
1/2 cup heavy cream
parsley
thyme
salt, pepper
Devein
the shrimp and put the discarded shells into a pot of water (about two
cups), along with one small potato. Cover and cook until the potato is
easily pierced with a fork. Remove the potato and set aside, and discard
the shrimp shells, retaining the water.

Melt
the butter in a large pan, then add the onion, green pepper and garlic
and cook until softened. Add the water from the discarded shrimp shells
(it will be less than two cups of water after simmering) and the two
diced  (and raw) potatoes. Let the potatoes cook until almost soft, then add the
corn and cream and simmer on low for a few minutes. Add the herbs and other seasonings,
then put in the shrimp and scallops and cook for about four or five
minutes until almost cooked through. Add the cooked salmon (or if using
raw salmon, add it when you add the other seafood). Let everything cook
together gently for a few minutes without a lid, then serve.

 

Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel and Citrus

 I vowed to eat fewer cookies, cakes, etc. after the holidays, but something always interferes — the inevitable weakness when a dessert menu is placed in front of me at the end of restaurant meals, the dinners at friends’ homes or my own sabotage when I decide to bake something sweet (which is more often than I should).

In an effort to counter the effects of those temptations, I’m trying to find dinner entrees that pack lots of flavor and not so many calories. Even though this dish requires a fair amount of olive oil for the poaching, when spread among two pounds of fish for four to six people, there’s no cause for complaint. And two pounds of salmon is plenty for four to six people, especially if a salad or other foods are being served.
Don’t fret if the last of the blood oranges are gone from the markets. You can still use regular oranges and it will be just as delicious. Make sure to slice the fennel very thinly or it won’t cook through in the allotted time. Another option, which I did the second time I made this, is to parboil the fennel a couple of minutes, drain it, then assemble the rest of the ingredients. The jalapeno gives the dish a subtle kick, so don’t omit that either.
Place the fish atop the fennel, oranges and lemon, scatter some dill throughout, season with salt and pepper, and pour the olive oil on top.

Roast it in the oven uncovered at a very low temperature (275 degrees) for 30 to 40 minutes. Don’t worry if the fish isn’t totally immersed in the olive oil. The abundant oils already present in the salmon will be enough to keep it moist. Break the fish into large pieces and pour some of the oil on top when serving. Have some lemon handy to squeeze on top, too. Try it with other seafood if salmon isn’t to your liking. Cod, halibut or similar thick-fleshed fish would be great too.

Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel and Citrus 

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 6

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood or navel orange, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 Meyer or regular lemon, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs dill, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 2-lb. skinless salmon fillet, preferably center-cut
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275°. Toss fennel, orange slices, lemon slices, chile, and 4 dill sprigs in a shallow 3-qt. baking dish; season with kosher salt and pepper. Season salmon with kosher salt and place on top of fennel mixture. Pour oil over.
  • Roast until salmon is just cooked through (the tip of a knife will slide through easily and flesh will be slightly opaque), 30–40 minutes for medium-rare.
  • Transfer salmon to a platter, breaking it into large pieces as you go. Spoon fennel mixture and oil from baking dish over; discard dill sprigs. Season with sea salt and pepper and top with fresh dill sprigs. Have extra lemon on hand to squeeze on top.