We are eating more vegetables these days. Also, we are eating healthier. At least, we are trying to eat healthier (when I’m not eating cookies). I love vegetables, I honestly prefer them over meat most of the time. However, they can be boring if you never jazz them up. Otherwise, we’d eat them without complaint. A little spice can go a long way. For example – curry powder.
This is my first in a series of sponsored posts by Idaho® Potato! I’m thrilled to be working with them, they are the BEST! All opinions are my own.
Curry seems to be one of those flavors that people feel very strongly about. They either love it or they hate it, there’s not much middle ground. I’m in the “love it” camp. Just the smell of curry makes my heart flutter. A long, long time ago in a city far, far away when I was in culinary school, we would wander the streets of NYC and more often than not we ended up in an area of Manhattan that had lots of spice shops and Indian restaurants. I think that’s where my love of curry was born.
I suggest making this with a meaty fish like corvina or halibut. A delicate fish like sole would get lost in the aggressive flavor of the curry. That being said, the potatoes are really the star of the show. They absolutely make the dish. The crunchy outside and fluffy inside of the potatoes make it a perfect vessel to soak up that luscious sauce. The bright tang of the tomato combined with the heady, warm spiciness of the curry against the creamy flesh of the potato makes for a perfect bite.
It’s so good that I’ve considered making it vegan by omitting the fish, doubling the potatoes and adding in more peas, onions, chickpeas, etc.
A word on trial and error:
Cooking well takes practice. The more you cook, the better you get. You will begin to develop a feel for flavors that pair well (sometimes without even needing to taste it, you’ll just “know”) and even after you’ve been doing it professionally for 14 years, it’s not always perfect. See Below…
This was the first version. Do you see how yellow the sauce is? The curry was just a “pinch” too much. It overpowered the coconut flavor. I backed off just a half teaspoon the next time around and it was perfect.
Take risks, learn from mistakes… That’s the only way to develop your palate and learn. That statement also applies to so much more in life. It’s a pretty good mantra.
Chef’s Tip: How to get those potatoes SUPER crispy
- Soak the potatoes in cold water. This helps to remove some of the starch, which helps them to crisp on the outside and remain tender and fluffy inside. The water will become cloudy. I usually let them soak for 15 minutes and change the water once, then let them sit for another five minutes or so.
- Drain and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Why does this matter? The excess starch can sometimes prevent the potatoes from cooking through before they begin to brown too much, leaving you with dark potatoes that aren’t cooked properly. Every restaurant I have ever worked in, potatoes always get a soak before frying so it stands to reason that if we are “oven-frying”, the same rules apply.
- 1.5 lb. piece of corvina, cut into 4 equal pieces
- 2 large Idaho® Russet Potatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
- 1 - 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 - 13.5oz can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder (yellow curry powder)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- white pepper
- canola oil for frying and baking
- nonstick cooking spray
- parchment paper
- sheet pan
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)
- Line sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray. This will help to ensure we don't have to pry the potatoes off, leaving our crunchy outside stuck to the paper.
- Soak potatoes (as described above), pat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Toss to evenly coat potatoes and lay them on the parchment-lined sheet pan, put in the oven on the middle rack.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip potatoes over. Rotate the pan and slide back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are crispy and cooked through. Sprinkle with a fat pinch of kosher salt while they are still warm.
- *Your oven may run hot or cold, so times may vary! Keep an eye on the potatoes after you've flipped them.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and drizzle in 2 TB canola oil.
- Sprinkle both sides of the corvina with kosher salt and white pepper, place fish in the pan, good side down, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the fish over and cook for another 5 minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Remove the fish and set aside. DO NOT CLEAN OUT THE PAN.
- Add in garlic and let it saute for a minute, then add in coconut milk, curry powder and tomatoes. Let the sauce cook down for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, then add fish back into the pan along with the peas. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes, until fish is warmed through.
- Place potatoes on the plate and ladle sauce over them. Place fish on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
- Corvina varies in thickness, try to choose a piece that is fairly even from one end to the other. This will make it easier to portion into equal sized pieces and it will guarantee that the cooking rate for all the pieces will be the same.
- If you have one piece that is very thin and one piece that is very thick, the thin piece will be cooked through well before the thicker piece. In that case, put the thicker piece of fish in the pan first and let it get a head start on the thinner piece(s).