In high school my aunt started themed movie nights with my sister and I. To be correctly themed, the dinner needed to match the type of movie…for example The Godfather trilogy with Italian food, Bride and Prejudice with Indian food, etc. All dinners were made at home. After my aunt moved back to the Bay Area, my sister and I continued the tradition.
On my aunt’s recent visit to Milwaukee we thought it would be fun to have themed movie night “like the old days”. I was put in charge with choosing dinner and that would determine the movie.
Dinner: baked fish in a spice broth (Indian), salad and some bread to soak up the wonderful broth.
Dessert: apple galette
The fish turned out beautifully; the broth had a slight kick from the cayenne pepper and a burst of freshness from the squeeze of a lemon and cilantro.
The apple dessert was the perfect finale on a cold winter night, even with a scoop of ice cream.
The movie, however, ended up being the Golden Globes.
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Baked Fish in a Spice Broth
1 1/2 pounds cod or halibut fillets, at least an inch thick
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 large shallots, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon finely grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)
1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic (about 1 clove)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium Roma tomato, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the fish into 3-inch square pieces. In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over low heat until browned and fragrant. Cool and finely grind the seeds.
Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat, add the shallots, and stir until they turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger and cayenne to taste, and stir constantly over medium heat for another 30 seconds, taking care not to burn. Add the water, salt, and ground coriander, and bring to a boil.
Place fish in a casserole dish large enough to hold them in a single layer, and sprinkle with the tomatoes evenly over top. Pour the spicy broth on top and bake until the fish is cooked through but not over done, about 10 minutes. You can use a fork to test one of the pieces of fish discreetly; if it flakes easily, it is time to remove the dish from the oven.
Serve sprinkled with cilantro and garnished with the lemon wedges. I also had a baguette sliced up on the side.
Recipe by Ruta Kahate, 5 Spices, 50 Dishes