Friday, July 22, 2016

Braised Opah Puttanesca

A quick Friday post and a recipe from Curtis Stone that goes together quickly, takes minimal effort and works in summery fresh tomatoes with local fish--which makes it a winner in my book! I served it with spiralized zucchini noodles for a healthy dinner.

Curtis says, "Try my take on classic puttanesca—a Mediterranean tomato sauce in which capers and olives provide an added punch of flavor—by using it to braise mahimahi or bass. You make your sauce, pop in your fish, cover the pan for a few minutes, and come back to a beautiful dish. The heat of the sauce does the cooking for you."

Braised Mahi Mahi Opah Puttanesca
Slightly Adapted from Curtis Stone via
(Serves 4)
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided (I reduced oil to 2 Tbsp)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (I used mixed olives)
2 Tbsp capers, drained
sea salt
4 skinless mahi mahi or sea bass fillets (6 oz each) (I used local opah)
2 tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large, heavy skillet, heat 3 Tbsp. oil over low heat. Add garlic and anchovies and cook, stirring frequently and mashing anchovies, about 2 minutes, or until garlic is soft but not browned. Stir in red pepper flakes. Add tomatoes, wine, olives, and capers. Increase heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes, or until tomatoes have broken down. Season to taste with salt.

Season fish with salt, and lay gently in the sauce. Drizzle fillets with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Cover and simmer gently over low heat 7 to 10 minutes, or until fish is just cooked through and still moist. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Notes/Results: Easy and delicious--a good amount of spice and yummy briny olives and capers. This is a keeper dish! Curtis's recipe calls for mahi mahi (or suggests sea bass as an alternative) but with local fish you have to go with what looks best and freshest and today that was opah (moonfish) and it cooked up perfectly moist and tender. I think any firm, mild white fish will work well. I reduced the oil by half and went for carb-free zucchini noodles, but pasta or rice would also work well. Another small change was using  assorted (and pitted) olives from the grocery store olive bar. The kalamata olives they had had pits and I am lazy! ;-)  

This post is linked up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto. You can see all the tomato-filled dishes everyone made by clicking on the picture links of the post.  

***Book Giveaways Reminder!***

If you happen to live in the U.S. or Canada and love to read, I have two great book giveaways going on right now. Click on the links below to see my reviews, recipes inspired by the books, and how you can enter!

The Monster's Daughter by Michelle Pretorius:  Dark and gritty mystery thriller, set in South Africa with history and speculative fiction worked in. 
(Giveaway runs through 8/1/16

Unearthed by Alexandra Risen: Beautiful and moving food, garden, and family memoir (Giveaway runs through 8/4/16)   

 Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. When I go back to Japan I am gonna get that vegetti thingy so I can make zucchini noodles...your posts have convinced me that I need one:)

  2. Oh. My. Word. This dish is so lush. I am loving Curtis, can't go wrong, So glad you picked him for IHCC. Now I always use a recipe as a guideline so the tweaks you made and noted are appreciated. We are taking a few days fish break since we overdid salmon this past two weeks but I can say, this is something I will definitely make.

    That photo is so yummy you ought to submit it to Food Gawkers.

  3. I love a good Puttenesca. Great recipe, Deb. Going to enter your giveaways NOW. I would love to read Unearthed. I just finished The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani. It might be a CTB chose in the future. Have a great Sunday!

  4. Sure sounds like and look like a winner to me too. This works for so many kinds of protein. Certainly a great recipe for tomatoes.

  5. Being a vegetarian, I have no idea how to cook fish. Your recipe looks so easy and so tasty! My husband LOVES fish , so this recipe is for him. I am obsessed with zucchini noodles and love that you used them as the pasta under your fish!

  6. What a great idea to braise fish - or any protein - in Puttanesca with all of that built-in flavour. Looks fantastic.

  7. I especially like that "The heat of the sauce does the cooking for you." A very good plan there. Plus a terrific dinner, just add pasta.

  8. A delicious dish that goes well with your "pasta"! I like all your spiralized veggie noodles.

  9. This recipe definitely highlights those fresh summery tomatoes we all love. I love that you lightened it up with zucchini noodles. I really do need to get my hands on a spiralizer! Like you, I love visiting the olive bar, not only for the variety, but also because I am lazy. Looks gorgeous and love the flavors!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)