Thursday, June 9, 2011

Riesling Steamed Hake with Sauteed Red Chard

I have to admit that I completely winged this recipe.  We have had a few ingredients that had been sitting around in our vegetable basket, like a sweet onion and a couple of shallots, that needed to be used.  Those ingredients can be used in a lot of ways, but neither really stands out as a principal ingredient, at least for the dish I wanted to cook.  

So, I bought some Hake and some red chard.  I immediately faced a problem.  Although very healthy, chard is a bitter leaf vegetable.  I needed to think of some ingredients to use to help smooth out the bitterness.  I bought a small bulb of fennel, which would provide some anise and licorice flavors. However, the ingredient that I thought would do the best job of taming the bitterness of the chard is wine.  And, not just any wine, but a Riesling.

Rieslings are white wines full of fruit flavors, such as pears, peaches, and other refreshing fruits.  Germany is well known for its Rieslings, as is the Alsace region of France.  However, I decided to go with an American Riesling.  I bought a Riesling from the Columbia Valley in Washington and proceeded home to make this dish. 

The dish basically involves the steaming of the hake with the Riesling wine.  I did not have a steam plate, so I used the sweet onion as the platform, filling the pan with wine until it was just below the top of the onions.  I put the hake on top and set the heat on high.  This dish is still a work in progress and I will update the post if I make any changes to it. 


RIESLING STEAMED HAKE WITH SAUTEED RED CHARD
A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2-3
Ingredients: 
1 pound of Hake fillet, cut into even-sized pieces
1 bunch of red chard, stems diced finely and leaves sliced
1 large sweet onion, cut into thick slices
2 shallots, sliced
1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 small bulb of fennel, stalks trimmed off and diced finely
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bottle of Riesling
1 tomato, cut into eighths
1/2 lemon, cut into quarters
Salt, to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Directions:
1.  Saute the chard.  Heat the butter and oil in a a large saute pan on medium-high heat.  Add the chard stems and fennel.  Saute for about five to eight minutes until the chard stems and fennel are soft.  Add the chard leaves and continue to saute the chard for about a minute or two.  Add about 1 1/2 cups of wine and let the chard cook until the wine cooks down, about five to eight minutes.

2.  Steam the fish.  Place the onions at the bottom of a rounded saute pan and pour about 1 1/2 cups of wine until the wine is just below the top of the onions.  Heat the pan on high and place the hake on the onion.  Cover and, when the wine begins to heat up and steam, it will cook the fish.  The fish will need to steam for about eight to twelve minutes depending upon the thickness of the fish.

3.  Finish the dish.  Remove the chard and place in a colander over the bowl to help drain any excess liquid  Then plate the chard first and the fish on top of the chard.  Plate with tomato and lemon wedges.  Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

As for the rest of the wine, drink it.  Rieslings are great, refreshing wines.

ENJOY!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keith,
I have swiss chard in my garden this year and have enjoyed it numerous times. I usually cook it in a skillet with c. a teaspoon of olive oil and a dab of butter just as it is done. Last night I prepared it with a little bit of sliced onions and green peppers, mushrooms, diced small red potatoes and smoked sausage - added a little whit wine also.. Last week I added 2 eggs and an eggbeaters to the side of the skillet when the chard was almost done. Neither time was it bitter. I usually cut out the stem, and if the leaves are large, cut them in half.
Emory

Keith Bolek said...

Emory,
Thanks for all of the ideas on how to use swiss chard. I will definitely try them, especially the one with the vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes and smoked sausage. That sounds delicious. I hope all is well! Keith

Keith Bolek said...

Emory,
Thanks for all of the ideas on how to use swiss chard. I will definitely try them, especially the one with the vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes and smoked sausage. That sounds delicious. I hope all is well! Keith

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