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
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!)