Happy Friday! Or whatever day it is based on when you’re reading this. Friday during lent season many families, whether they are Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc, possibly attend several fish fries throughout they’re neighborhood up until Easter. In fact, I grew up never missing the Cedar Mills Fish Fry as a kid.
As an adult, I don’t get there as often as I used to…mostly becuase, I am not a fan of beer battered fried fish. In fact it’s been years since I attended the annual Cedar Mills Fish Fry and this year will be no different. The only difference is I will miss out on a good time with family driving all the way from South Dakota to not only see us, but to also attend the fish fry.
That’s ok since I’ll see them Saturday. I honestly do have a fairly good reason I can’t be with them Friday night. I was invited to a very special dinner party over a month ago with a star chef from Minneapolis. I am excited and all ready looking forward to all the good food, I won’t be cooking. Maybe there will be fish? Or maybe not?
But if you’re not attending the Cedar Mills Fish Fry this Friday, but want a healthier way to enjoy it, try this! I made this last Friday and it’s super simple, super healthy, and super delicious! The saffron-oil based sauce can be prepared in advance and either refrigerated or frozen. So convenient if you’re entertaining guests.
RED SNAPPER with BASIL & TOMATO SAFFRON SAUCE
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and pureéd (or can of crushed)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pound of sea bass, red snapper or other mild fish
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley
- Pour olive oil into a cup. Slightly crush saffron with your fingers and submerge in oil for about 20 minutes. Transfer “saffron oil”‘ to a large sauté pan or skillet and cook briefly over low heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté over medium-low heat about 5 minutes or until onion begins to turn golden.
- Add tomatoes , salt and pepper and cook over medium- heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until mixture thickens.
- Add your fish in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness, spooning sauce over fish from time to time. Be sure not to not over cook. You can test the thickest part of fish with knife making sure it is opaque. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings.
- Stir 2 tablespoons of basil gently into sauce.
- Serve hot or cold sprinkled with remaining basil.