There is nothing more romantic than a nice dinner and a good bottle of wine. Though rom-coms all too often feature a happy couple tucking in to a candlelit steak dinner, steak seems like an awfully heavy choice for a date night meal. If you’re full of meat chances are you’ll be too full and tired to have sex afterwards and for many of us date night is the only chance to get laid without fear of interruption. Fish, which is a lot lighter on the palate and the stomach, is a much better option especially when you pair it with seasonal ingredients.
This fish dish takes its inspiration from France. French food is one of those cuisines that manages to make a light meal feel luxurious and that’s a feeling you definitely want in a meal shared with your sweetheart. True to French tradition, I use wine and butter in this dish, but in moderation, favoring olive oil as my main fat in order to keep everything light without compromising flavor.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Medium-Easy
Prep time: 10
Cook Time: 1 hour
ROASTED TOMATOES AND LEEKS
1 Cup of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1 Cup of Cleaned, Sliced Leeks
Some grocery stores carry fresh or frozen leeks that are washed and already sliced. Check the area where bagged salads are sold and the frozen foods section. If you can’t find em, buy a leek, cut the dark green parts off, cut them in half length-wise and then rinse the crap out of them to get rid of all the excess dirt. You can now slice them up.
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon of Basil or Oregano
½ Fresh Ground Pepper
½ Teaspoon of Salt
½ Cup of White Wine
2 White Fish Fillets
I used frozen sole filets from Costco that I thawed out, but you can use any small or medium white fish fillets, fresh or frozen and now thawed.
1 Teaspoon of Basil Pesto
½ Teaspoon of Lemon Pepper
Lemon Pepper is a salt and pepper mix where the salt has been flavored with lemon. It is my go-to fish seasoning.
TOMATO LIME COUSCOUS
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Cup of Chopped fresh Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Pinch of salt
½ Cup of Couscous
¾ Cup of Water
1 Teaspoon of Half Salt or Salted Butter
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Medium Baking Pan – a Brownie pan works well for this
1 Large Plastic Container
1 Wooden Spoon
1 Frying Pan
1 Heat Proof Bowl
1 Regular Bowl
Preheat the oven to 350 oF.
In the baking dish, combine the Tomatoes, Leeks, Olive Oil, Basil or Oregano, and your Salt and Pepper and stir everything with a wooden spoon to combine.
Stick the pan in the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.
Season the fish fillets with lemon pepper and coat with the pesto.
Stick them in the fridge while the leeks and tomatoes are roasting.
After 30 minutes, take the leeks and tomatoes out of the oven and stir them once.
Stick them back in the oven for another 30 minutes and get started on your couscous.
In a bowl combine the chopped fresh cherry or grape tomatoes and add the lime juice and a pinch of salt.
Stir everything together and leave it to marinate while you prep your couscous.
Put ½ a cup of couscous in a heat proof bowl.
In a pot bring ¾ cup of water to a boil.
Pour the boiling water over the couscous and immediately cover with plastic wrap (or if you’re environmentally conscious you can always use a plate big enough to cover the bowl).
Leave it for 5 minutes.
Uncover the couscous and using the tines of your fork, separate them the grains. This process is called fluffing.
Add the Butter and Olive Oil and stir. Then add the Tomatoes and stir again.
Stick it in the fridge until the leeks in the oven are done.
Scoop out some the leeks and add them to your couscous. Give it a stir to combine.
Put some couscous on each plate and get started on your fish.
Heat your pan on high and grease it with a little Olive oil.
Put in a fish fillet in and cook on either side, turning when the edges go opaque. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and the juices are a milky colour.
Put it on the plate with the couscous and repeat with the other fillet.
Put the remaining roasted tomatoes and leeks in the same frying pan and add the white wine.
Stir everything around on medium high heat until most of the wine has evaporated or been absorbed into the veg.
Use them to top the fish.
Now grab a glass of wine, light a candle, and settle in to a nice night with your sweetheart!
-Samantha R. Gold
Questions? Comments? Requests?
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