Orange Roughy in a Spicy Almond-Pecan Sauce

This is a cookbook recipe that ended up morphing into a very different dish!  We started out making “Fish in an Almond-Walnut Sauce” from The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz.  I chose this recipe because we have lots of fish and also some fresh tomatillos we needed to use, and the recipe called for both.  However, as we started to make it, it became clear that we didn’t have the exact ingredients we thought we had.  So we got creative with substitutions and made what turned out to be a really tasty and healthy dish.  (Also dairy-free and gluten-free.) Here are the ingredients we actually used:

Orange Roughy in a Spicy Almond-Pecan Sauce

2 orange roughy fillets

1 onion, chopped

1 cup white wine

about 8 fresh tomatillos

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup blanched almonds

1  cup pecans

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 green chilli, chopped

1 chipotle pepper (canned), chopped

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

First, prepare the tomatillos (you can skip this step if you used canned): Heat olive oil in a pan. Put in quartered tomatillos. Add salt and the diced green chilli. Saute for a minute and reduce heat to med-low. Add a couple tablespoons of water. Cook on med-low for about a half hour.

Once they are cooked, strain them to separate the liquid from the fruit.  Heat the liquid in the pan with a cup of wine, the onion and garlic, and the salt and pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the fish and cook until flaky.  Remove the fish to a covered serving dish.

Pour the liquid from the pan into a food processor and add all remaining ingredients (except the fish).  Blend until you have a smooth sauce.  Pour over the fish and serve.

It has a nutty, smoky taste that went really well with the orange roughy, and a little kick of heat at the end.   Serve this with some sort of bread so you can sop up the sauce.  Also, if you buy canned tomatillos, it doesn’t take long at all.  I’ll definitely make this again.  (Next time I might even buy the right ingredients so I can make the official recipe!)

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8 Responses to “Orange Roughy in a Spicy Almond-Pecan Sauce”

  1. jcleffie Says:

    This was really good. The one thing we would need if serving to guests would be a colorful garnish. Some herbs and some red chilies might be nice. Otherwise it looks kind of bland.

    Sauces made with finely mashed nuts is a real favorite of mine. There are some Indian and Southern Italian dishes made with sauces done like that too.

  2. Astrofish Says:

    Yummy! Go for those really small fillets, too! They are the best because they were from immature fish! It’s great to have one last meal before there aren’t enough orange roughy to make fishing economical! Eat, sh_t, and sleep! Who cares! I’ll be dead before the population recovers!

    • jcleffie Says:

      How about a reply that educates us and readers of the blog that Orange Roughy is not a sustainable fish instead of this self-righteous douchebaggery. The former is always welcome on this blog if you bothered to read its more political posts. The latter only serves to fragment people who might be allies in the fight for sustainability. Of course, building a real movement takes more work than trolling the internet looking for that “ah-ha!” moment. Those of us who think similarly are hard to come by. We need unity not this hyper moralism that divides us. If I wanted that I’d join a church.

      • Astrofish Says:

        I thought I’d try a bit of sarcasm to get the attention of those that refuse to listen to the facts. There are many that would choose to dismiss scientific reesearch as rhetoric that does not apply to them. Stating the problem in this manner isn’t about fragmenting people nor is it about creating a movement. It is about getting people to listen and think. Sometimes the unexpected is necessary for people to listen and remember, and that was the purpose of this message. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  3. Jared Says:

    Mr. Cleffie, I’d like to take a stand for feminine hygiene products everywhere and take issue with your wanton disregard for their importance. They serve an important social function unlike our astrofish who clearly serves no social utility. His behavior is nothing like the noble work of the douche. I’m just sayin. p.s. Love the blog!

    • Astrofish Says:

      Geez… get off your soap box and relax. Read my reply above and realize that the general population doesn’t listen and it was the general population that was targeted with the sarcasm. Take action, whether it be over feminine hygiene (weird) or doing something to educate yourself and others about eating responsibility.

  4. therealpotato Says:

    Astrofish, try reading the blog a bit before you start lecturing me. There are quite a lot of political posts that, if you’d read them, might have indicated you’re dealing with someone who DOES think about these issues. If you want to harangue ‘the general population,’ get your own blog.

    Also, being a total asshole doesn’t qualify as ‘the unexpected’; this is the INTERNET, after all. (See for a lovely illustration of this point.)

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