Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Savory Apples: a Fish and Apple Curry

I love Autumn and I love apples in Autumn. I grew up in New York State, a state with a lot of apple orchards - it's number #2 for apple-growing states (Washington is far and away the leader). Where I grew up, ancient orchards are interspersed with many a subdivision and the smell of ripe apples is everywhere. We would head to the local orchard for freshly pressed cider which was another treat of Fall.

After reading this article in The Atlantic, I started to wonder if my love affair with apples was shared widely. If you spent your life eating Red Delicious apples, probably not. I have shared your disillusionment with the apple - so many awful apples in box lunches, convenience stores, cafeterias. Please seek out some better apple varieties; I posted a list of common apple varieties and their seasons which can help you out. It's not complete. Apple breeders keep coming up with new varieties - thank goodness - because it would be a sad world with just the lame Red Delicious.

Most of us eat our apples in desserts. Here, it provides sweetness and texture to a fish curry. A tip when using curry powder: some of the spices in there have a bitter and raw undertone. To tone this down, it's important to cook the curry in fat for a minute.

Fish and Apple Curry
(serves 6)

2 Tablespoon oil or butter or a combination
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
¼ cup raisins
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tablespoons chutney
salt and pepper
2 medium apples
2 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 ½ pounds mild whitefish such as Pacific cod or catfish, cut into bite-sized pieces

Heat up the oil and/or butter in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook the onions and garlic for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and turning golden. While the onions are cooking, peel, core, and dice the apples. Add the curry powder and cook for a minute. Add the raisins, crushed tomatoes, chutney, ½ teaspoon salt, and apples. Cook for 20 minutes on medium-low (to keep the tomatoes from scorching to the pan). Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper to season. Add the zucchini and fish. Cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the fish is cooked. Check for salt and pepper before serving.

This gets even better if you refrigerate it and reheat it. The sweetness of the apples mellows the curry making it even more delicious.

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