Monday, July 16, 2012

Pan Seared Snapper with Citrus Saffron Vegetables over Arugula Orzo

My dad overnighted me multiple pounds of fresh snapper from Florida the other week, but pretty much any white fish would work for this recipe.  The orange juice and saffron simmered vegetables add a great Spanish flare.  The orzo is simple and tossed with fresh baby arugula for a peppery and light side dish.  This dinner is very easy and the only special ingredient is the saffron that can be found at any specialty spice store.  It's a must for the pantry and even though it is expensive, a little goes a long way.  


-2 snapper filets (or other white fish)
-salt and pepper
-2 Tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
-1/4 cup Wondra flour (or all purpose flour)
-1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
-1 zucchini, diced
-1/2 white onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-zest and juice from 1 orange
-2 large handfuls baby arugula
-1.5 cups orzo
-1/4 cup white wine
-pinch of saffron threads

First, salt and pepper both sides of the fish fillets.  Sprinkle the wondra (or all-purpose flour) on a plate and dredge each fillet in the flour.  

Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil) in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the fish and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes, until the thickest part of the fish is opaque and flakey.  Remove from the heat and cover with foil to keep warm. 

Chop the zucchini, half the tomatoes, chop the onion and mince the garlic. 

Also, zest the orange and put in a small bowl.  Slice the orange in half and squeeze the juice in another bowl.  

This is a good time to boil your water for the orzo, once it boils, add rice-shaped pasta and cook according to package directions (make sure to save about 1 cup cooking water before straining).  

Now, in the same skillet you seared the fish, heat the other 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high.  Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant and the onion is translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.

Now add the chopped zucchini and orange zest.  Saute a bit more until the zucchini is soft.  Add the tomato halves and saute another 1-2 minutes. 

Once the tomatoes are a bit wilted, add the 1/4 cup white wine, juice from 1 orange and a pinch of saffron.  Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. 

While the liquid is cooking down, add 1/2 of the baby arugula to the orzo and pour 1/2 of the hot, reserved cooking liquid over the top.  Stir, and place a lid on the pot.  Repeat with the remaining arugula and cooking liquid.  Cover for another minute and then stir until the arugula is a bit wilted.  Place the orzo in a large, warmed bowl or plate. 

Now top the bed of orzo with a fish filet and large spoonful of the veggies and sauce. Serve warm and enjoy and healthy and quick meal for dinner. 

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