Thursday, November 5, 2009

Red Snapper in Miso, plus Spinach and Squash!

As many of you readers know, because you are my friends, I have started telling my friends to invite themselves over for dinner whenever. Surprise surprise, they're taking me up on this. Sunday nights are my favorite nights for dinner guests, because I have so much more time to prepare and really do it up in style. Though, honestly, I think that's starting to happen several nights a week...(invite yourself over!)

Last night my friend Becki came over, and thrilled me with the news that she made my spicy sausage for dinner a few nights ago and loved it. I love positive feedback! I am always so happy to hear that people are enjoying my blog and trying things! Very exciting stuff.

On to the food! I know I don't usually list sides and entrees and all together, but this is one of my favorite meals, and I strongly recommend going for the whole shebang. It's especially great to serve to unsuspecting guests. The moment I put a whole fish on the bone and some chopsticks in front of people, the fun begins. Unfortunately it's the sort of thing I generally make up as I go, so I am doing my best to write it down for you. The recipes below serve 4. You can get all of the ingredients at most grocery stores, and definitely at Asian markets.

White wine works with this, but sake is better, of course. And don't forget, you definitely need rice!

Spicy Miso Snapper
2 whole red snappers, cleaned
1/3 to 1/2 cup red miso paste
1/3 cup nam pla (fish sauce)
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sriracha or more to taste - this is the spicy part!
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup water

Cut 3 or 4 parallel slashes into both sides of both fishes, down to the bone. Mix the sauces and scallions in a large bowl. Place both fish in the bowl and spoon the marinade all over the fish, inside too if you want. Set aside while you prep the veggies; more on them later.
Heat a large skillet to medium-high and carefully place both fish in the pan, then add all of the marinade to the pan. Add the water, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down a little and let the fish cook for about 5 more minutes before turning them over. Use a spatula to look inside the fish periodically. When the flesh is opaque white, serve.

Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Line a small baking pan with foil. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. If you want to get fancy, cut little pieces off the bottom of each half so they don't rock and spill the juice while cooking. In a very small bowl, mix the brown sugar and butter until smooth. Smear half of the mix on each half of the squash. Place in the foil-lined pan, cover with more foil, and bake for about 1 hour. Cut into chunks and serve.

Spinach in Sesame Sauce
1 bundle fresh spinach
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

Bring water to boil in a sauce pot. Mix the seeds, oil, sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Boil the spinach for about 30 seconds, strain, and return to the still-hot pan. Add the sauce mix, stir well and serve immediately.


  1. My friends and I have been doing a similar Sunday night meal. Last night was wilted kale and feta and tomato stuffed chicken breast. I am hemming and hawing over whether to suggest the spicy sausage or this for next week.

    Also, despite the fact that I wrote you earlier about your lack of savory updates recently, I was chided by one of my friends for not bringing dessert this week! Guess I'll have to mine through all of your delicious suggestions for next week.

  2. Awesome! That stuffed chicken breast sounds really good. If you do the spicy sausage let me know how it goes. :)

    If you're in the mood for chocolate, the holy brownies are always a huge hit, but the 2nd most popular among my friends is definitely the tart crust. Just sayin.