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Fish in Tomato, Rhubarb and Blood Orange Sauce (M/P)
Source: Jayne Cohen, "The Gefilte Variations"
Serves: 6

3 medium blood oranges OR
2 large juicy navel oranges
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon light honey such as orange blossom
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and fibrous strings removed
1 cup fresh orange juice
generous pinch cinnamon
2 cups coarsely chopped canned plum tomatoes with juice

3 pounds fish fillets or steaks (salmon, red snapper, grouper, sea bass, halibut, cod or sole)
mild lettuce or cabbage leaves if steaming
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely minced fresh mint, for garnish

Make Sauce:
Remove a long strip of zest from one of the oranges with a vegetable peeler. Put it in a saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain, rinse and pat dry. Finely mince the zest.

Peel two of the blood oranges (or 1-1/2 of the navel oranges), removing all of the bitter white pith and seeds. Slice the oranges into chunks using a serrated knife. Set the orange zest and chunks aside.

In a 10" heavy skillet, warm the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until they are shiny and lightly softened. Add the minced zest, ginger and 1 tsp honey. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are pale gold and very soft and sweet, about 10-15 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the rhubarb. Cut into 1" chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of the orange juice, remaining 2 tsp of honey, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil; simmer until the rhubarb is very tender, stirring occasionally.

When the onions are ready, add the remaining 1/2 cup orange juice to the skillet and boil the mixture, stirring and scraping it so it does burn, for 3-4 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the onions are deep golden.

Stir in the tomatoes with liquid and cook over moderately high heat until they break up, about 10 minutes. Add the rhubarb mixture to the sauce and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes.

Add the reserved orange chunks and simmer 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the flavors well-blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper and some of the lemon juice. Taste again and if needed, add additional honey or lemon juice until you reach the perfect sweet-sour balance.

Let the sauce cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days to blend the flavors.  [Archivist's Note: we believe this would be a good Shabbat luncheon dish because of this paragraph]

Prepare Fish:
To poach the fish, in a deep skillet large enough to hold the fish in a single layer, bring 3" of water and salt and pepper to taste to a boil. If using thinner fillets, this will need to be done in batches. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer; lower the fish into the water and cover the pan. Poach until the fish is just cooked through, 6-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

To steam, in a heavy wide pot, add water to a depth of 1-1/2 to 2". Arrange a rack in the pan that stands at least 1" above the water. Bring the water to a boil. Line the rack with a layer of mild lettuce or cabbage leaves; place the fish on top in a single layer - if using thin fillets, you will need to do this in batches.

Reduce heat to medium, cover and steam until the fish is just cooked through, 6 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness and variety of fish.

Remove the fish to drain either on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Transfer to a serving platter. Peel off the skin. You can serve the fish at room temperature, chilled or warm. If not serving the fish warm, cool it to room temperature and if desired, cover and chill until cold. Blot up any liquid the fish may have sweated. Spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the fish, reserving the remaining sauce.

Otherwise, prepare the fish ahead when you make the sauce. Follow the above directions for cooking, cooling and saucing the fish. Cover and chill the fish for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days. Serve the fish at room temperature, chilled or reheat it gently and serve warm.

Just before serving, blot any additional liquid exuded by the fish. Cut the remaining blood orange or half of a navel orange into very thin slices. Tuck the slices around the fish and sprinkle lavishly with the chopped mint. Pass a sauceboat with the remaining sauce (heated through if serving the fish warm.)

This sauce is wonderful over poached or grilled chicken.

Poster's Notes:
Checked this cookbook out from the library and ran across this recipe. Definitely untried but it is on my "to try" list. I think the flavors would be too strong for fish and would opt for chicken or turkey breast.

Posted by Sheryl Donner

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 91 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat; (45% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 4mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates