White Wine Poached Fish + Roasted Cauliflower
I really made a white wine poached ~*tilapia*~, but I titled this “poached fish” because this recipe works for allll kinds of white fish. More importantly, this is great for all those frozen filets you have in your freezer that you forget to defrost until the last minute. That’s because there’s no defrosting! Let us rejoice!!!!!!
Now that we have rejoiced, I have some good news and I have some bad news. I’ll give you the bad news first. I hate to be a debbie downer, but poached fish is super ugly. It’s white, kind of gray, and just looks sad and deflated. But don’t worry because we are jazzing it up with some tomatoes, shallots and garlic, then topping with a beautiful white wine sauce and fresh herbs. Sounds too hard for you to do? I promise it’s not. We are basically sautéing some shallots, garlic and tomato for flavor. Then, we are adding white wine, lemon juice + water to create a delicious and flavorful poaching liquid, which ALSO will serve as the liquid for our white wine sauce! Yassss we stan hitting two birds with one stone. Is that how those gen-z use that term? Ok, back to the good news. Poaching fish allows it to absorb the flavor of the poaching liquid, and therefore makes the fish suuuuper tasty. This fish develops a bright, floral, buttery and elegant flavor profile. And all you have to do to achieve it is make the liquid (As described above) and let the fish take a nice bath in it while it simmers. For the whole tutorial, you can watch my video below! I always recommend watching the video with a recipe, as I’m a visual learner. However, the choice is yours.
|1 head of cauliflower|
|2 frozen white fish fillets|
|1tbsp olive oil|
|2 cloves of garlic|
|1 medium shallot|
|1cup diced tomatoes|
|1/2cup white wine of your choice|
|1tsp kosher salt|
|1tbsp lemon juice|
|1 1/2tsp chickpea flour|
|Fresh cracked pepper|
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat a dutch oven (or medium large pot with a lid) on medium low heat. Combine 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil, until the butter is melted. Add the shallot and garlic, then spread them around until fully coated in the butter mixture. Adjust the heat to low, then put the lid on and let them sweat for 5 minutes.
While the garlic and onion "sweat," prep the cauliflower. Place all of the pieces of cauliflower in a mixing bowl and toss in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss until the cauliflower is fully coated.
Line the cauliflower up on a sheet pan (or 2 pans, don't over crowd your pan!) with the largest flat side of the cauliflower facing down. Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes, until slightly tender inside and crispy on the outside.
Return to the dutch oven and add the diced tomatoes to your garlic and onion mixture. Adjust the heat to medium low and let the mixture cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the white wine, water, lemon juice and salt. Taste the liquid to make sure it's salty enough for your liking (every salt is different, and it's important to have ample salt so your fish can absorb some flavor.) If it's just slightly salty, add another pinch. The salt will help enhance the flavors of the wine, butter, and lemon. Keep tasting and you'll know when it's right for you!!! Avoid adding too much. Little by little is best!
Slightly lower the heat so that it's a slightly lower "medium low" than before, then add the frozen fish to the poaching liquid. Try to submerge it as much as you can. If the fish isn't even halfway covered, this means that your pot is too large. If you don't have any other pots, add more of the poaching liquids until the fish is almost fully covered. (I would start with half of the measurements provided, then work your way up if its necessary.) Put the lid on top and let the fish cook for 10 minutes. If the fish is stuck together from being frozen in a weird position, don't break the fish. Just let it cook for a few minutes until they begin to thaw and you can separate it.
After 10 minutes, check on the fish and flip it over or adjust it as necessary. If your fish filets were small or thin, they may be done cooking! You'll know that they're done if they appear fully white and no longer translucent. If they're not done, put the lid back on and let them continue to cook for another 10 minutes. If they seem like they're *almost* done, then check back on them in 5 minutes. You can never be too careful!!
Remove the cauliflower and put on a plate or in a flat bowl.