Some Mediterranean Flair
by The American
Institute for Cancer Research
Flounder, also known as flatfish
or sole because of it shape, is the centerpiece of this weeks
recipe. The addition of red peppers, pine nuts, basil, and garlic
creates wonderful layers of flavor that complement the flounders
tender yet firm texture and accent its delicate, almost sweet
and nut-like taste.
Remember, when purchasing fresh
flounder, it should not smell fishy. The eyes should be bright
and clear, the gills should be reddish, and the skin should be
lightly coated with a transparent slimewhite slime is a
definite sign the fish is too old.
If you do not plan to use the fish immediately after purchase,
remove it from the package, rinse under cold water and pat it
dry with paper towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its
own juices so place it on a cake rack in a shallow pan filled
with crushed ice. Cover it with wrap and put it in the coldest
part of the refrigerator. It will store well this way for up
to two days. Whether rinsing or cooking, be sure to handle the
fish gently so as not to break the fillets. If it is well-wrapped,
it will keep up to two months in the freezer.
The pine nuts provide a unique crunchy-creamy texture. These
nuts, which are edible seeds of the pine cone, come from a variety
of pines, including the Colorado, the Single-leaf, and the Mexican
Pinyon trees.Prized for millennia, they provide iron, and vitamins
B1 and E. Toasting brings out their flavor. Interestingly enough,
producers must crack the cones with heat to get to
the nuts, which is why pines thrive after forest fires.
The combination of balsamic
vinegar and the stock creates the right balance of moisture and
acidity for the fish. Balsamic vinegar has gained considerable
popularity in the US over the past couple of decades, although
Italians have been enjoying it for about 900 years. This unique
vinegar is the produced by boiling down the sweet white Trebbiano
grape into a dark syrup and aging it in wooden kegs.
True balsamic is aged from a minimum of 6 months to many years
and condensed down by placing it in smaller and smaller kegs.
As it ages, moisture evaporates, further concentrating the flavor.
Some balsamic has been aged for over 100 years. It has a complex
fruity fragrance. Although many believe it is wine vinegar, it
is not. Rather it is made from grape pressings that have never
been allowed to ferment into wine, giving it its well known flavor.
Using Italian style breadcrumbs enhances the Mediterranean flavor
of the recipe, creating a wonderfully unique fish dish that can
be enjoyed often.
Flounder with Peppers and
Toasted Pine Nuts -
Makes 4 servings.
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 pound flounder fillets
2 Tbsp. Italian style bread crumbs
2 tsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. fresh basil
Toast pine nuts by placing them in a hot skillet and stirring
frequently over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Be careful
not to let them burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
Rinse fish and pat dry. Season
with salt and pepper. Dust with breadcrumbs.
In a large skillet, melt butter
and olive oil over medium heat. Add fish and let cook for at
least 4 minutes until golden on one side. Flip over and cook
other side for about 3 minutes until fish is cooked through.
Remove fish from pan and set
Add shallots, garlic, and pepper
strips to hot pan and sauté until fragrant and slightly
wilted, about 2 minutes.
Add vinegar and stock. Increase
heat to high and boil until liquid is reduced by half, about
2-3 minutes. Pour pepper mixture over the fish.
Top with pine nuts and fresh
basil. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 190 calories, 9
g total fat ( 2 g saturated fat), 6 g carbohydrate, 22 g protein,
1 g dietary fiber, 270 mg sodium.
The American Institute for Cancer Research
(AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship
of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer
risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public
about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for
innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and
research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark
reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field,
and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also
provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions
of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk.
Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in
brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is part of the global
network of charities that are dedicated to the prevention of
cancer. The WCRF global network is led and unified by WCRF International,
a membership association which operates as the umbrella organization
for the network .The other charities in the WCRF network are
World Cancer Research Fund in the UK (www.wcrf-uk.org); Wereld
Kanker Onderzoek Fonds in the Netherlands (www.wcrf-nl.org);
World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong (www.wcrf-hk.org); and Fonds
Mondial de Recherche contre le Cancer in France (www.fmrc.fr).
Article Source: Aicr.org
Article Posted: July 1, 2009