This month we continue to read about the benefits of eating fish. A 16-year study of almost 85,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study found that those who ate fish just two to four times a month cut their risk of heart disease 30 percent compared to those who ate fish infrequently.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that men with the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids-the healthy fat found in fish-in their blood were 80 percent less likely to die from sudden heart disease.
So let’s eat fish. It’s delicious, easy to make and available year round. Remember that when you shop for fish to use your eyes and nose. Fillets should look fresh and compact. It should not be flaking in the case. Certainly, if the fish smells fishy, leave it there.
Make friends with the people in fish store and ask when fresh fish has been flown in. Your fish monger should be able to skin, clean whole fish, and take out pin bones in fillets. If you are pregnant, watch out for fish high in mercury. The government has warnings you can read posted on the Net.
Our first dinner brings the clear taste of lemon and orange to the richness of salmon. Here we bake it and serve it with risotto that is also lemon tinged. As you bake the fish you can also do the squash so that your meal is ready in minutes. Make the risotto in the microwave while everything else is readied. By the way, this will also work with other fish such as halibut, flounder, swordfish or your own favorite fresh fish.
The next menu takes its inspiration from South-of-the-Border. We used grouper for this menu because it was the freshest fish at the store, but feel free to use your favorite fish that stays moist while baking. The salsa makes fish that many think of as lacking taste burst with flavor. Make sure you select a barely ripe mango. Look out for bruised fruit as the flesh will have turned brown and the flavor will have faded.
Out third menu is inspired by Indian cooking. Here we used scallops, but you could use shrimp or cubes of any fish you like as long as it can stand up to the spices used. We used basmati rice, but if you can’t find it, buy the American Texmati variety. Here we give you the recipe for a rub that will keep for weeks in an air-tight container.
Our last menu features farm-raised catfish fillets baked in a crispy crust. With it we’re suggesting Debra’s Killer Tartar Sauce. Just look under “sauces” and “salads.” Add some black beans and you’ve finished a quick and easy but dynamite meal.