Sunday Supper: Braised Fennel and White Fish with Cherry Tomatoes Over Couscous

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone! Go Pack! This is a dish that Patrick and Lauren made for us and I have been hooked ever since. This ranks as one of the easiest, tastiest and quickest dishes to make and it can be ready in about 30 minutes. You can use any mild white fish such as cod, striped bass, orange roughy or tilapia. It pairs perfectly with a sauvignon blanc but my absolute favorite with this dish is the 2009 Thomas George Estates.

What You Will Need

3 T. Extra virgin olive oil

2 Thick slices of pancetta cut into 1″ pieces (optional)

1 C. finely chopped fennel (I go heavy on the fennel and use a whole bulb for extra flavor)

course salt

red pepper flakes

1/4 C. water (more as needed)

1 pint cherry tomatoes (for added color, choose a pint with mixed colors such as yellow, red and purple)

2 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 lb.s fish

freshly ground pepper

2 T. shredded fresh basil (I also use more basil than this)

fresh greens (with your dressing of choice. I used Newman’s Own Caesar Dressing)

couscous (make according to the package)

1 T. butter

What To Do

In a dutch oven, saute pancetta over medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain onto a paper towel reserving the fat in the pan. Add the slivered fennel and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Saute for 1-2 minutes until fennel sizzles. Add 1/4 cup of water. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan getting all the flavored goodies. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Allow for the fennel to braise for 7 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add 1 T. olive oil to the pan and add your tomatoes, minced garlic and turn up the heat to medium and saute uncovered for 10 minutes occasionally scraping your skillet. When half of the tomatoes burst (approx. 12 minutes), add 2-3 T. of water and pancetta. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, begin boiling your water for the couscous and pat fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. ***Choose your own adventure: In an alternate skillet pan over medium-high heat, pan sear each fillet 4 minutes on each side then transfer fish to braise OR add the fish directly to the braise, cover and simmer over low heat turning the fillets at 4 minutes (8 minutes total). Stir in freshly chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over couscous with a freshly tossed salad. It is the perfect dish and it makes my top 5 every time! Enjoy!

Additional Fish Recipes

Pan Seared Swordfish with Edemame Succotash

Wild Pacific Coho Salmon

Citrus Snapper and Chorizo Potato Hash

Mahi-Mahi Tacos

Spicy Ciopinno with fresh Sour Dough Bread


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