I like to make a new recipe each week because having an arsenal of easy, tasty, and healthy options is key for me. When I get bored I don’t eat as well. This week, I made Mark Bittman’s Steamed Fish with Ratatouille from the March issue of Health magazine. The beautifully styled photo from the magazine (shown below) caught my eye, and I knew I had to make this dish.
The recipe was super easy to make. I prepped the zucchini, peppers, eggplant, and onion first, and while that sauteed away with some garlic and oil, I cut my tomatoes and cleaned the fish. Next I added the tomatoes, and let them cook for a few minutes until they start to break down. Then I placed the fish on top of the veggies, and covered the pan. Let the fish steamed until cooked through (it will start to flake apart), and you’re ready to eat.
I finished mine with some lemon juice and zest because lemon makes everything taste so fresh, and served it with a small serving of wild rice.
I made two servings of fish, and lots of extra veggies. After two dinners, I added some Trader Joe’s whole wheat penne and a few more tomatoes to my leftover vegetables for a delicious veggie pasta that extended this recipe to a third meal. I love when I only have to cook (and clean) once for multiple meals.
The fish used in this recipe is cod, which is often featured in lenten fish frys. Growing up in Pittsburgh, this time of year meant fish frys at every church, fire hall, or civic organization and fish specials at every restaurant. Fish frys are not so much a thing in Philadelphia, and their absence has me jonesing for a classic Pittsburgh fish sandwich. My favorite was the broiled fish sandwich from Benkovitz in the Strip District. I always had my open faced with lots of of cocktail sauce, and french fries and coleslaw on the side. For years, this was my family’s go to lunch spot after a long Saturday morning of food shopping in the Strip, always eaten standing up at the fish market’s crowded counters. I haven’t been to Benkovitz’s in years, instead Penn Ave Fish Company’s more modern seafood has become my new favorite, but the humble fish sandwich from Benkovitz will always hold a special place in my heart.
All this reminiscing has made me hungry, and I’m going to have to pick up some more cod and a soft roll to try to recreate this piece of the Burg in the City of Brotherly Love. So the search begins for a fish sandwich recipe.