Savoring Our Faith (Season 2) – Seafood Diet


People who like to eat say they have a “see-food diet” –they see it and they eat it. I know it’s corny but it’s going to be delicious. So stick around as we make a bunch of delicious seafood recipes right here on “Savoring Our Faith. ” [music] Okay! What we’re going to be doing today is making seafood which is going to actually taste like it. Sometimes when people get fish, it kind of winds up looking and even tasting like chicken nuggets because they bread it, they fry it or they bake it and you kind of lose the essence of the beautiful, fresh, almost sweet seafood quality to it. We’ve got some beautiful snappers that we’re going to be kind of cooking up. On one of these I asked them to leave just a little bit of the fin right in place because that’s going to tell me whether or not I’m finished cooking this fish perfectly. Fish recipe number 2, Tilapia. And we’re going to do a simple, very simple preparation of this fish but the sauce itself is going to be so, so good. So we’re going to have to make the stuffing for all of this. So let’s get this together real quick. Inside this fish we’re going to infuse not only some minced rosemary, we’re also going to stick a rosemary leaf into it as well. We’re also going to pan out and mince some garlic as well. I don’t care if it’s going to be super-mashed because it’s going to be all blended up anyway. So let’s get this together. In this fish we’re also going to put some salt, some pepper. Then I’m going to actually create a bed of some potatoes mixed with some onions and even maybe some chopped, roasted carrots as well to kind of give a nice little–how shall I say?– an earthy quality and texture. Instead of meat and potatoes, it’s going to be seafood and potatoes. Now, when we’re mincing this all up you don’t have to be super, super precise because this is basically going to serve as an aromatic for the fish anyway. But I want to make sure that it’s cut at least fine enough so that you’re not getting one big, honking piece of garlic because that would actually kind of ruin the delicate nature of the seafood. So I’m mincing the garlic with the rosemary to make it easier for distribution. I’ve got my oven reheating at–preheating at about 400° temperature. We know that it’s kind of high, but with fish like this that is A-okay. So off to the side you go. Let me chop up some of my root vegetables. I’m even going to leave the skin on these carrots. We’re just going to do some rough chops on them, a little bit on a bias. We don’t have to be perfectly the same size and uniform because they’re going to roast up. That means some pieces are going to caramelize more than others. That’s okay, because it will not only create beautiful texture it will also give some great, great color and of course, flavor. All of these to complement the fish, no doubt. Okay, now that we have this all set up here’s what we’re going to do. Also I’ve got an orange here I’m using which will also give a nice citrusy flavor to the fish itself. We’re just going to have these out so that when they get inserted into the cavity of the fish that it will almost fan out. Then we’re also going to use a little bit of lemon zest as well. So two types of citrus– one is going to be more concentrated, with the zest itself. And notice what I’m doing– I’m putting it in with the aromatic– namely the rosemary and the garlic itself. But I’m going to use the juice of the orange to enhance the sweetness of the fish. Now, obviously, obviously, fish is a Christian reference. You all know that from previous recipes where we’ve kind of given the quote as to what the word “Fish” is in Greek, “IXOY”? “Jésous Christos, Theou Yios, Sôtêr,” and it basically means “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” I’ll do more talking in a little bit. I know I’ve got to get this fish in there because it will take about 25-30 minutes to cook this whole. You can see we’ve got a beautiful fresh piece of fish here with the eyes that are pretty clear. It doesn’t smell bad. In fact it smells like a beautiful fresh ocean air. I’ve got to score this about every 2 or 3 inches to help cook down until we get down to the bone. And this is going to help to cook the fish very evenly, scoring on both sides. So basically, allowing your knife to go straight through the bone but not all the way through it, about an inch apart. We’re going to do the same thing with this other one. We’re going to drizzle a little olive oil; season it with salt and pepper. It’s kind of interesting, because you know fish is already salty enough but it shouldn’t be super, super salty. That’s why we’re going to actually allow it to kind of roast in its own juices, in its own flesh. That will kind of balance out some of the “seafoodness” with the sweetness of the meat. So here we go. Let’s get some salt seasoning the inside. So we’re not going to be super aggressive with the seasoning because we want the flavors to kind of come through. So what I’ve got to do is not only just put a little bit in there–I’ve got to make sure that I spread it around on the skin as well. Whew! That almost got me there. You’ve got to be careful when you’re working with the fish because the fins themselves have these super-sharp points. I guess they’d be used for protection at one point, but they also are sharp, so it can kind of hurt. So you’ve got to watch yourself. Into the cavity will go our aromatics. We’ll just going to kind of put that all in there. Does it need to be absolutely beautiful? Not necessarily, because like I said, we are going to be cooking this whole and we’re going to be filleting it and basically deboning it. But into this cavity also will be just fanned out orange slices, fanned out orange slices. And guess what we’re going to do with the rest of these things–something beautiful. Let’s get a little bit of olive oil in here, spreading it all out, even using your hands. Now, let’s layer out some of these, just putting it all out, spreading it out. Why are we doing this? Well, because we want these to roast, no doubt roast all the way. And at the same time let’s make sure nothing goes to waste. Do you see how simple this is? Gosh. Some of the different preparations for this allow you to be creative. In fact, there’re going to be some places that are going to wrap this fish up in a parchment. Now, why am I doing the onions? Well, because I want to actually cut out some onions, put it on here, let that roast. Make for a very delicious– the sweetness of the onion will certainly complement the sweetness of the fish. We’re going to be ready to cook this up in just a moment. But let me get these onions all chopped up. When Christ calls us “fishers of men,” (chuckles) it’s because we swim in schools, don’t we? We kind of join in with the people of the same, I don’t know, the same preferences that we have. The onions get chopped up. Therefore, if one member of your family is caught up in the love of God, then guess what? Technically, the rest of your family should be kind of caught up in that school of faith as well. This is so simple. Look, I’m just simply rubbing this all out, putting this on top. Why am I doing this? Not only for flavor but because I am also creating a little bit of space between the pan–which is going to get super hot–and the fish itself. In this space you’ll have a little bit of air to help cook the fish at the same time make sure that it doesn’t overcook in its own juices. One fish down. You can see what I’m talking about. And then the other fish down. I’m going to put it on the other side. The only other thing that I’m going to do is I’m just going to get little bit of aluminum foil–2 pieces, in fact–to cover up the tail so that it doesn’t burn too quickly because obviously there’s nothing to it. Then we’re going to remove it, serve it whole. I know it kind of freaks people out to see your food looking at you before you eat it. But this is not only beautiful, it’s rustic, and honest-to-goodness, this is kind of the way Jesus ate it. So into the oven it goes. Now, I’m just going to do a quick little cleanup and show you another fish preparation which is absolutely delicious. [music] Our Lord teaches us that He has a great rapport, a relationship to the ocean. Even though He was a carpenter, He spent a lot of time at the shore of the seas, calling fishermen to be fishers of men, calming the waves, and even walking on water. He even was able to control the amount of catch of fish that the disciples would eventually experience, to prove that He is the Lord of Lords. He is the One who rules heaven, earth and even below the seas. [music] As that fish is continuing to roast, I actually threw in some fingerling potatoes in there, too. Just chopped it all up, throw it in there, season it with salt and pepper. It will roast easily with the fish. And while that is continuing to cook, fish recipe number 2–tilapia, or tillapia– no, it’s actually tilapia. And we’re going to do a simple, very simple preparation of this fish but the sauce itself is going to be so, so good. The tilapia, when I actually went to the Holy land they said this was the fish that Jesus caught. And I’m thinking, “Mmm, I don’t know if they called it Tilapia.” It could also mean that is was maybe a form of a St. Peter’s fish. Whatever it is, I don’t care; it was good. The tilapia itself is very flaky, so you don’t want to overcook it. It takes on all of the flavors that you put into it. So what we’re going to do is keep the preparation on this tilapia super simple. Here we go, just heating up a pan. I’m going to make it large enough so that I can put about 2 or 3 filets. Then when they’re cooked on either side I’m going to use a little cooking rack here and a little baking sheet to put it right on top to let it rest as I used the drippings and the juice from the fish itself as a flavoring profile for the sauce, which is going to be put on top absolutely fantastic. So for this we try to keep again this seasoning very simple with a little bit of salt and a little bit of pepper on both sides. If you don’t want these big flecks of pepper because you don’t want to ruin the presentation, simply use white paper. It will change the flavor just slightly, but it’s still pretty good. This sauce is going to be pretty typical, almost like a meuniere sauce, which is going to be a type of butter with capers on it. It’s delicious with sole but it’s going to be pretty good with the tilapia as well. So again, simple seasoning, salt and pepper. We’ll wait till this gets hot, seal the server, cook this out–and we’re going to make sure that we get the right utensils for it, too, as we allow this fish to cook. What you want to do is make sure that you don’t overcook the fish. The white fish can stand to be on the medium side of the temperature. And we’ll see if it’s hot enough. Not just yet. Well, actually it’s getting there. What we’re going to do with the sauce, you’ll see, is just going to be throwing it all into the pan and allowing the flavors to kind of just congeal, pouring it right on top or even better using the sauce as a base for the plate. All right, so here we go. This is getting ready to cook. You’ll see that sometimes it might separate as the fishmongers kind of clean it and filet it. And this might fall off. This piece is certainly going to get cooked before this piece is because of the different size of it all, but that’s okay. Sometimes people when they get really picky, they’ll cut right along the blood line and they’ll only use the thicker pieces. And they’ll use this almost like to deep-fry it in some beer batter to make some like fish sticks, so to speak. So we’ll get 4 of these pieces in here, cook on each side, about a minute, I’d say about 2-3 minutes on each side. While we do this, we’re going to make sure that we get all the rest of the ingredients all lined up. Butter, we’ve got some lemon, we’ve got some olive oil. I’m going to mince a little bit more garlic, pepper, caper, lemon and we’ve already used this but this will show up for garnish– that’s the rosemary. We’re also going to allow some of the tomatoes that I’ve diced up to steam as well. When we think about fish and the whole scriptural reference to it–the fact that God calls us to be fishers of men–I also think that fish was used in the Scripture at least in Luke’s Gospel, after the Resurrection. He breaks into–he doesn’t even break in–He gently walks through the door where the disciples were celebrating–actually where they celebrated the Last Supper but where they were then hiding for fear of the persecution after Jesus rose from the dead. And what does Jesus say to them in order to prove that He truly rose? “‘Have you anything to eat?’ And they give Him fish. And He ate it in front of them.” That is pretty awesome– to know that what we’re eating, He ate too. So mincing out this garlic, and what we want to do is mince this finely because we want to almost create a little bit of a paste with this that’s going to be in the sauce itself. So garlic is going to get minced. And then slide your knife along it. This is definitely cooking through. You can see that it’s certainly cooked out, probably taking on a little bit of color. Not just yet, probably stand a little bit more. In fact if I turn the heat up even higher it will definitely take on some color. Flip it over, place it on here and then we will make sure that we’ve got the rest of the sauce as well. So let me just cut some of these out right now so that makes it real easy at the very end of the day to present plate, prep and eat. Feast with your eyes and what you see is what you get. And today you’re going to see seafood. There you go. I think this is ready. Very good! A little bit of color, maybe we could stand a little bit more. If you want it to get some color that definitely has a little bit more. You could just easily crust it with some panko breadcrumbs. All right, very good, and then another set. There we go using a side of the pan to flip it over, let’s give this about another 2 minutes. I’m going to do the second batch and then we’ll also be ready to make the sauce super-quick. [music] Seafood is certainly a unique type of food. Who would ever think to go into the water and pull something out, roast it and eat it? Well, we know that Jesus did. In fact, after the Resurrection the thing that He would eat to prove that He experienced a bodily resurrection was to eat fish in the Upper Room. And even on that beach He had fish roasting for His disciples. A real sign of faith was Jesus eating seafood. [music] Okay, I’ve got these fillets cooked up. It only took about 2-3 minutes on each side. You can see that I was able to achieve some nice caramelizing on the fish and some nice crusting in this same pan because it has some of the drippings of the fish, or at least the pan is seasoned with the fish. I am going to put it in about 4 tbsp. of butter. Butter and fish kind of go, butter and seafood go great, like that drawn butter that you stick the lobster tails in–absolutely fantastic! I’m going to kind of season the butter or flavor the butter with these lemon slices, throw in the garlic as well. Let’s add some hot pepper flakes to it because the fish, again, is so mild, maybe this little burst of heat will break out even more of the flavor. Also we’re going to add a little bit more olive oil, just a little bit more. Some lemon juice… and now here’s what we’re going to do to give it some bright freshness, some capers as well. Already enough salt in this so there’s no need to add any more salt to this whatsoever. And for a little bit of some sweetness, just a little bit of–there you go– and for color as well just some spears of some tomato, including a little bit of that juice from the water. Let this all kind of cook gently together, absolutely fantastic! Some people would even add a little bit of white wine to this. That will be delicious, but there’s no need, because here’s what we’re going to do now. On the side of this, as this is continuing to cook down just wilt–here’s what I did. I pushed it off to the side because I’m going to use a little bit of spinach here wilted down just a little bit, because now we’re going to be ready to plate Fish Dish number 1. Here’s how it’s going to look. Taking some of the wilting spinach, we are going to use this as the base for the fish dish. This is so fantastic. Fresh, bright–you don’t need much more, really. If you want to add some starch to it, maybe some crusty bread, but that’s all you need. Some wilting spinach, there you go–that’s what I want. Just to coat the spinach, and just a slight wilt; I don’t want it to be–how shall I say?–completely mushy. We’re not doing creamed spinach, although that would be pretty good, too. There’s like a thought or a movement afloat that you would never put any like cream with any of the seafood. That’s at least what they do in Italy. However, they’re starting to expand their horizons. I’m starting to see a little bit more of it. Now that this is done and these flavors are starting to come together, let me make a little bit of room for myself and let me do some plating. So move these out of the way, and watch what’s going to happen next. Take these beautiful fillets. Let’s take a filet, and of course, this is how I do it, using my knife. Let’s put one, and then 2. Oh, my goodness gracious, that’s a masterpiece in and of itself. But wait–there’s more. We’re going to just take a spoon, take some of the drippings here, take some of this beautiful sauce. Let’s layer out a few of… these tomato spears just right on top. And then guess what we’re going to do? Take this beautiful simple glaze, maybe a couple of lemon peels and slices on there. And guess what? Just drizzle little bit more of this right on top. You don’t need a lot. You don’t need to… Look, the fish was already swimming in its own water. We poured it out of it. You don’t need to drown it again. In fact, what we want to do is just highlight it with some flavors from that simple pan dripping of sauce. And there you go– a feast for the eyes– see it and eat it. What a diet that would be! Now, what we’re going to do is just check on the roasted fish and see where we’re coming along. It might need a few minutes longer, and as long as you know that you can pull out one of the bones from the fins, then you know that it’s cooked perfectly. It just comes right out. Let’s see what we got. Ah yes, definitely looking good. Let’s give it a try! At this point, halfway through it all, I drizzled some olive oil on top of it. I’m going to make a little bit more room here. The flesh itself has turned white. I think we’re actually in a pretty good position here. Let’s see if I can pull this one… Oh yeah, I pulled it right out. That bone comes right out so that basically means we are almost done. And I say almost done because I want to achieve a little bit more caramelizing on this–not just on the fish itself but even on the vegetables themselves. And here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to actually crank this broiler up to a little bit of high, wait till we get a little bit more crusting. And then you’ll see just how beautiful, beautiful this really is. So now that we’ve got it set on broil, I’m going to return it, wait till it turns nice and kind of toasty. You’re going to see a little bit more charring on it, which means not only is it definitely cooked, it’s going to be even more flavorful. [music] Seafood is one of those unique foods that will certainly teach you patience. I look at fishermen and how they just basically have to wait. Certainly there is technique, but there is also a great virtue of patience to wait for that perfect catch. And do you know what? That’s what Jesus is doing for us as well. He’s waiting for us to be caught up in His love. [music] So I know that the fish is cooked. It was cooked when I put it in, but I put it in the broiler and it did exactly what I wanted it to do. It made it not only–how shall I say?–even more seasoned and cooked. It kind of charred some of the skin, and that’s exactly what we wanted. Oh, my gosh! So perfect, so beautiful. What we’re going to do to plate all of this is we’re going to take some of the bottom parts here–the potatoes that are cooked perfectly, some of the charred aromatics that are on the bottom here, some of the onions that are already as well–I’m just going to layer it right on top– I mean right on the plate itself. Put some of that on. This is rustic home-cooked meal, my friends. This is awesome. And this is just one of those one, I guess one pan wonders, where you simply take the fish itself. This aluminum foil certainly protected it from burning. And I’m just going to take this and gently, as gently as I possibly can–this is going to require some effort here but I think I can do it. Yes. Place that, oh gosh, that is absolutely fantastic. Put a little bit of that rosemary as a garnish on the bottom to show what the seasonings are. And you’ve got 2 perfectly cooked seafood dishes that will make your mouth water. Hopefully, if your family really is swimming in the same school of faith this will be a catch for the entire family but really a catch, for God. So we’ll see you next time on “Savoring Our Faith,” only on EWTN. [music]

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