Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snapper with Beet Greens and Borscht

This winter I have been trying fresh vegetables I never tried before instead of relying on frozen peas and corn. I don't like bitter so kale is out till I know how to cook the bitter out. Today there was nothing in the fresh green produce at a reasonable price except beets. I made beet greens before but neither of us liked them, probably because I didn't know how to treat them.  Since then I saw a show on how to cook them so I decided to try again.  Snapper was on special so I picked up a nice filet for dinner.

I only had beef rub mixed up in the cupboard and I was a little late already so I used that instead of mixing my southwest rub. The southwest rub has a few more and slightly different ingredients than the beef but it should work fine. I bought a bunch of beets with greens so I peeled and diced up the roots and folded the leaf along the stem then cut the stem out of the leaf with one quick slice. That is key because the stems are far more bitter than the leaves.  

I started with half an onion diced and caramelized.  Then I put the beet roots in and sweated them a few minutes.  I added beef stock to cover the beets, a little salt and pepper and put it on the burner to simmer.

Got potatoes boiling and put the carrots in the steamer.  I wasn't sure how long the beet greens would take to cook but they were thick and more papery than spinach so probably minutes not seconds to cook.  When the carrots were half way done I added the beet greens and turned to the snapper.  I got my pliers out and removed the few bones from the thick center head end of the fish.  The tale end is narrow, thin and usually boneless. I seasoned both sides with:

Beef Rub

1  1/4  tablespoons paprika
1   tablespoon kosher salt
1   teaspoon garlic powder
1/2   teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2   teaspoon onion powder
1/2   teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2   teaspoon dried oregano
1/2   teaspoon dried thyme

and put it in a hot pan with plenty of oil.  Snapper turns opaque as it cooks so it is easy to see visually when it's time to turn over the filet. The second side cooks much faster than the first so it pays to watch it. 

The beet greens were much softer but still had some texture so I ran them and the carrots under cold water to stop cooking. Once the fish was in the pan, I put the carrots and greens on the burner with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil on medium low heat to finish cooking.  Once on the plate I added a few drops of lemon juice to the beet greens.

My southwest spice rub is better on snapper but the beef rub was just fine. I'm not sure if the lemon juice helped the beet greens but they did taste good.  Fern liked them better than cooked spinach and I can make them again. Cutting out the stems is key.  The borscht was nice, I used my homemade yogurt instead of sour cream. Overall, a pretty good February meal made entirely of fresh local food.

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