During the Lenten season we become aware of the abundance of fish and seafood available. Working couples, or individuals, have greater choice than ever among frozen meals, which need only microwave heating. When there is time to be more creative we can microwave-cook fish on HIGH four minutes per pound in unlimited variations, usually at considerable saving.
These recipes call for ingredients likely to be on hand or readily available. Microwave-baked potatoes and a crisp green salad would complete such a meal for four at only a fraction of the cost of four such meals purchased frozen to reheat. If cooking for two, make only half of these recipes and cook about three minutes.
Adapting a Favorite
The Fish a la New Orleans was adapted from a dish that was traditionally baked in individual parchment bags. If you have other recipes of that type, they can usually be adapted to the microwave. Cook in a covered dish, remembering that all additions (such as the onions and carrots) must be in paper-thin slices or small bits to cook properly with the quickly cooked fish.
SAUCY FISH FILLETS
1 pound whitefish fillets
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 bay leaf
Minced parsley, optional
Rinse fish fillets under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place in oval or oblong baking dish with thin portions tucked under medium-thick portions for even cooking.
Melt butter on HIGH about 1 minute in 1-quart bowl. Add onion, green pepper and minced garlic. Microwave on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables are slightly tender. Add tomato sauce, water, salt, sugar, hot pepper sauce and bay leaf. Microwave on HIGH, uncovered, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring once, until sauce is slightly thickened.
Discard bay leaf. Pour sauce over fish, making sure all parts are covered. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve on warmed plates with sauce spooned over each serving. Sprinkle with minced parsley. Makes 4 servings.
FISH A LA NEW ORLEANS
1 pound whitefish fillets
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon minced parsley, optional
3/4 cup thin onion slices
4 slices Swiss cheese
Rinse fillets under cold running water. Arrange in oblong or oval baking dish with thin parts tucked under thicker parts for even cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Melt butter on HIGH 45 to 60 seconds in 1 cup measure. Stir in lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, dill weed and parsley. Separate onion rings and spread slices evenly over fish. With vegetable peeler, shave carrots into enough thin slivers to make 3/4 cup. Place carrot slivers on cutting board and cut crosswise into 1 inch lengths. Place carrot shavings on top of onions. Heat sauce on HIGH 1 minute, then spoon evenly over all.
Cover dish with tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap pressed down closely over rim. Venting not necessary. Microwave on HIGH about 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Place cheese slices over fish and recover with plastic wrap as before. Heat on 30% power--DEFROST or MEDIUM-LOW--2 or 3 minutes to melt cheese. Serve on warmed plates, spooning any sauce in dish over each serving. Makes 4 servings.