Story last updated at 4/24/2013 - 6:30 pm
Many Southeast Alaskans enjoy the bounty of the sea — catching crab, salmon, halibut and the ever-so-unattractive rockfish. With spring approaching and the sun peaking out between snowflakes, boat owners eagerly anticipate summer and fishing season. I don’t think anyone is more excited to get on the water than my husband, Grantley. He has three boats and spends much of April getting them ready for the upcoming visitor season.
Part of his preparation includes spring fishing trips with friends. This week he went out with several of his buddies and brought home a bounty of rockfish. I enjoy rockfish. It’s light and the texture is nice. Even though it is not the prettiest of fish, it is definitely one of the tastiest.
Grant’s immediate thought was to bread or batter and fry the fish. I like beer battered rockfish, but I have to confess that we have been eating quite a bit of heavy foods this winter, so I opted like to try something a bit lighter. I’ve made rockfish with a fruit salsa before, but I wanted to go even more different.
The reason I enjoy cooking so much is that I enjoy eating. However, I truly enjoy cooking for others. My husband likes food too, but he doesn’t really pursue the possibilities of flavor combinations and taste. He eats. I cook. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Nothing is more rewarding to me than to have someone I have cooked for roll their eyes in pleasure when that first bite is taken. Food Nirvana has been reached.
One of my favorite ethnic food groups is Indian. I crave it. Whenever I get to travel to other cities eating at an Indian restaurant is on the top of my list. I love the earthy, spicy flavors. They warm the diner from the inside out. By spicy I mean rich and warm, not the kind that burns your taste buds off and all you can eat is ice cream.
Curry and cumin are the perfect spice combination. Add a tiny bit of red pepper, garlic and a few other spices and you can make a wonderful rub that’s delicious on chicken or fish. Pair the fish with couscous and you have yourself a quick and easy dinner.
This weak I present to you an earthy meal caught fresh from the sea: Indian Spiced Pan Seared Rockfish. It is paired with a savory couscous. If you are unable to get rockfish, any light whitefish or chicken will work as a substitute.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
Indian Spiced Pan Seared Rockfish
4 – 4oz pieces of rockfish, cleaned and pat dried
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pre-heat a large non-stick skillet to med-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil. (Add more if you feel you need it.) Combine all spices and gently pat onto one side of fish. Place fish seasoned side down into hot oil. Sauté for 2 minutes. Turn fish over and continue to cook for additional 3 minutes. Remove from oil as soon as it is done.
1 package couscous
1 ¼ cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cup scallions (including green parts) finely chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/8 cup golden raisins
Cook couscous according to package instructions. Substitute chicken broth for water. After 5 minutes, remove cover and add scallions, pine nuts, cilantro and raisins. Stir well with fork to fluff the couscous.
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@