CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Brazilian-Style Baked Fish

There are many great sites on the Internet to find recipes. A good number of them feature not only tasty ones but healthy ones, too.

One of my favorites in this genre is that of American Institute for Cancer Research, which features recipes that have been rigorously tested by and approved by AICR devolopers, dietitians and staff (www.aicr.org/test-kitchen/).

I’m particularly fond or the AICR, since both Therese and I have had bouts with the disease and another family member is battling breast cancer now. The AICR champions cancer research by funding scientists and funding research.

AICR’s research focuses on how food, nutrition, physical activity and weight management affect the prevention, treatment and survival of cancer.

Among the accomplishments of AICR:

— It was the first cancer charity to fund research into diet and cancer and translate the results into practical information for the public.

— It was the first cancer charity to issue recommendations for cancer prevention based on a comprehensive review of global research.

— It funds research that explores the effect of food, nutrition, physical activity and body weight on the development, treatment and survival of cancer.

— It has funded critical cancer research programs for more than 30 years.

Over the years, I’ve used numerous recipes from the AICR site. And for the most part, I’ve never been disappointed. Here is one that’s quite appropriate, since Lent started this week.

Of course, it’s a fish recipe. The AICR people bill the recipe as a fresh way to spice up an old standby.

Fish has a large role in any healthy diet, and seeking out bold new ways to prepare it is a great way to keep this simple, versatile food interesting.

The fish used in the recipe is halibut, which is readily available in many supermarkets, including those in our area. It also contains shrimp. Both are among my favorites.

It also features the herbs parsley and cilantro, as well as onions, green bell peppers and San Marzano tomatoes, which are a nice complement to the onions and bell peppers. This variety of plum tomato is considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomato in the world.

Nutritionally, the recipe is jam-packed with vitamins A, C, B6, B1 and folic acid as well as antioxidants that have been linked in laboratory studies to a range of anti-cancer activities.

This is catch worth keeping, I think.

Brazilian-Style Baked Fish
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chile paste (more or less can be used, depending on how spicy you want it)
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1½ pounds halibut or cod fillets, about ½ inches thick
½ pound medium-size raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 tablespoons lime juice Lime wedges for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, green peppers and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add chile paste and tomatoes (break with a fork).
Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until thickened. Add parsley and cilantro. Mix lightly to combine.
Season fish and shrimp with salt and pepper. Pour tomato mixture into a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Arrange fish on sauce. Top with shrimp. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and lime juice. Cover pan with parchment paper then foil. (Aluminum and tomatoes do not mix.)
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Serve fish on a platter with sauce spooned on top. Serve with rice and lime wedges.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 320 calories, 10 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated), 23 grams carbohydrates, 33 grams protein, 3 grams dietary fiber, 560 milligrams sodium.

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