My husband and I traveled to New Orleans in March for the first time for a long weekend and one of our many memorable meals was at Jacques Imo's, a Creole/Cajun restaurant. Our table was actually in the bed of a pick-up truck out front! I rarely order fish at restaurants because I am so picky about it, but wanted to try New Orleans Redfish, so I ordered their Redfish special, prepared with kale and red quinoa in a Parmesan broth. Here is a version I put together so I can enjoy this at home. —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
chicken or vegetable stock (homemade is best)
hard rinds of Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan, or one of each!)
pint grape tomatoes, halved
fresh thyme leaves
filets of white fish (in New Orleans it is commonly Red Fish. In Cleveland, I use walleye. Tilapia, cod, or turbot would also be great)
small yellow onion, diced
rib celery, diced
large clove of garlic, minced
small bunch of kale, tough stems removed, chopped
Bring 4 cups of stock to a boil in a medium sauce pan, then reduce heat to simmer. Add cheese rinds and simmer for 30 minutes to infuse the broth with the cheese flavor. Reserve. You will use 1/2 cup of this broth to cook the quinoa.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the halved grape tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper as well as the oregano and fresh thyme. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. Reserve.
While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the quinoa. Bring 1/2 c of the Parmesan/Pecorino broth to boil in a small sauce pan, add quinoa, and reduce to simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork
Make a spice blend from the salt, pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Pat your fish fillets dry with a paper towel and generously coat both sides with the spice mixture.
In a large Dutch oven, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the white fish for about 3 minutes on each side and remove; reserve on a plate loosely tented with foil.
Add your onion and celery to the Dutch Oven and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add your reserved stock and the reserved oven roasted tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Add the chopped kale and toss to wilt into the broth. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until the kale softens a bit, about 8 minutes. In the final 5 minutes, add in your reserved quinoa and set the fish filets on top of your stew to warm back through. Serve bowls of broth, quinoa, and vegetables with a fish filet atop each. Enjoy!