Fast Fish Almondine

This is a fast dish, but a long story, going back to ancient Rome. You think that almondine means “made with almonds,” and you are right. But google it, and you’see a different word – amandine. Google that, and it means – surprise! – made with almonds. Scroll down a little, and the Urban Dictionary tells you that it means “She who has to be loved.” It also has this beautiful little tidbit of poetry:

I think I’m falling in love. And not with just an ordinary girl. Not with a real beauty.
Not with a model, a friend, a dream. But with Amandine. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Amandine)

The name Amandine is a feminine form of the Roman name Amandus, which  is derived directly from Latin amanda, “lovable, worthy of love”(www.behindthename.com/name/amanda).  What does all this have to do with almonds, you ask? Give me a chance to research some more while you listen to James Taylor sing “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.

I hope you enjoyed this musical interlude. I am back with a quote from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, a Nobel Prize Laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His novel Love in the Time of Cholera starts with this poignant phrase:

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What do the great writers know that we don’t? What is the connection between almonds and love? Dr. Maryanne Fisher in Psychology Today answers the question: “Our bodies produce a chemical stimulant, phenylethylamine (PEA)…which creates a rush or feeling of euphoria.” According to Dr. Fisher, “foods that increase PEA are apples, avocados, tomatoes, almonds, and cheddar cheese.”  So next time you want to bring her flowers, consider getting some fruit instead, and don’t forget almonds! She adds that just the scent of almonds makes women feel more amorous and also improves their heart health.  As unbelievable as it is, Gabriel Garcia Marquez knew it years before it was confirmed by scientists!

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To make this delicious fish dish that absolutely “has to be loved,” we need string beans, lots of fresh cilantro, garlic – that’s another traditional aphrodisiac! – and, of course, almonds.

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I prefer to crush almonds in a food processor together with garlic, to release more natural oils, as well as – you guessed it! – the scent. Sear them together on a very hot, lightly misted with oil deep frying pan.

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Can you feel euphoria coming? Are you falling in love already? Good, now you can add your string beans. Keep stirring until string beans are softer but still crunchy. This is almost good on its own, but I promised fish, so…

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… here it is, two fresh filets of tulapia, cut into three pieces each. Add it to the lovely mess in the frying pan and get your seasoning ready.

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I use basic salt and pepper, lemon juice, and allspice. Oh, and the secret ingredient…

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… a splash of dry white wine, preferably the same wine you are planning to serve with this dish. Add some roughly chopped cilantro, stir some more, and the moment your fish starts flaking, it’s ready.

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Garnish with a few slices of lemon and some cilantro sprigs. Do you realize you just made a truly exciting dinner in about ten minutes? Now pour a glass of that chilled Chardonnay and enjoy a great operatic tenor Jan Peerce singing an old Yiddish lullaby “Rozhinkes mit Mandlen” – raisins and almonds, for a sweet year full of love!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 filets of tulapia or any firm white fish
  • 1 pound fresh or fresh frozen string beans
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves
  • A large handful of cilantro, torn or roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon or dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon slices to garnish

PROCEDURE

  • Pulse almonds with garlic in food processor. Sear in very hot deep frying pan lightly misted with oil.
  • Add string beans. Cook covered for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Cut fish filets into 3 pieces each. Add to string beans.
  • Add lemon juice and allspice, season with salt and pepper. Add wine and cilantro. Leave some cilantro for garnish. Stir together making sure fish is under the beans.
  • Cook covered for 5 – 7 minutes until fish flakes.
  • Plate and serve garnished with lemon slices and cilantro sprigs.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32 Comments Add yours

  1. Yum! I love the musical interludes.🎶🎶🎶

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – glad you like it!

      Like

  2. Tali says:

    I love your stories and the way you tell them!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ll make a veggie version and I’ll call it: ‘veg-amore’ 🙂 Bitter-sweet almonds will be a metaphor for love itself 🙂 Thank you for the lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I do sometimes make it with tofu. I tried it once with tempeh but the texture wasn’t the same. Do you want to do a guest post for me with it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Owww! I’m deeply moved! Of course 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you! Do you know how to do it, logistically? I don’t but I can ask.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nope, but I can find out (I spend lots of time reading blogs on wordpress, but not much time reading about how to blog properly). Weekends are my ‘mini adventures’ time, but I’ll investigate next week 🙂 If you feel like it you are very welcome to do a guest post on my very shabby and unprofessional blog, too (even just to show people how a proper post looks like).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Dear Alex, what makes you think that my posts are professional? Your photos are so much better than mine that there are not even in the same league. Your posts are short and sweet , and to the point. Mine are almost “stream of consciousness” – whatever comes to my crazy right brain pickled in Odessa humor and brined by the Black Sea. Next week or whenever is fine; in fact, it’ll be great timing because Rosh Hashana starts next Sunday, and I am already cooking and baking, so you’ll fill in a gap for me – fantastic!

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      5. or can I do something else? I like the stories in your blog, I could have a go at a recipe with a story…(copycat, me)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You are not a copycat. I am a copy cat, and you are a copy – what? Cat, dog, snake, bird? The entire menagerie? By all means, do a story – great idea!

        Like

  4. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Today’s word prompt is MAGNETIC. Read this post to learn a simple trick to acquire MAGNETIC PERSONALITY – the ability to attract others.

    Like

  5. This looks fantastic and it must smell amazing with all the cilantro, almonds and garlic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, it really is quite aromatic – the cats go bunkers when I am making it! I am very glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Like

  6. A_Boleyn says:

    Another interesting post. I’ve seen bread crumbs with ground almonds in it so adding them directly to a pan sauce makes a lot of sense. Green beans are a harder sell to me as I like them very fresh and barely seared if I eat them at all.

    PS: I find tilapia to be a very bland tasting fish so any flavour add-ins can only help. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I agree that tilapia is bland, but in my mind it’s exactly what makes it a blank canvas, so to speak, that could be used in many different ways. Green beans are not a must; any stir-fry veggies will do, I am sure. I sometimes make it with broccoli. 😸

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A_Boleyn says:

        Broccoli is do-able. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great – I hope you make it AND like it! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Osyth says:

    The fish is delish there is no doubt. As a point of interest or no interest at all, there is a village very near my home in le Cantal called Saint-Amandin so somewhere lurking about was a fellow with the masculin version of the name. Saint Amandine is celebrated here in July – I remember her name day being advertised by the florists on their weekly board. Every name has a day and she puts up a list each week. Because of Saint-Amandin it stuck out. I’ll pipe down now and go and listed to James Taylor again – how I love him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Delightful, isn’t he? Perhaps there was a lovely fellow called Amandin, or maybe the village has lost an “e” down the centuries – who knows, but you have a very clever florist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Osyth says:

        I must make a post about the florist …. she is just the gentkest most beautiful soul 😇 and your theory about Amandin (e) has me working a little link to you into a post I am writing (for Esme) that you have inspired at some level …. today or tomorrow on that one 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am a curious cat – it’s not fair to do this to me!😾
        I am sure it will be a lovely post about the florist and her flowers. As to the “lost letters” and genders markers in names, it’s so common that even though I don’t know French, I would assume it follows the same tendencies as other European languages.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on MarethMB and commented:
    I love the looks and scents of this recipe and for quite few good reasons: it comes from Ancient Rome, it has almonds in and of course, green string beans and cilantro. I’m definitely getting this one done soon. I hope there are some of you who also love fish as much as I do! Thanks, Koolkosher Kitchen! And the music has the right mood, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging and for a beautiful introduction, Maretha! 😻

      Like

  9. Thanks so much. This is such a lovely post. I’ve reblogged it and love your inclusion of a music video as well. 💐💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a sweetheart – thank you so very much! 😻

      Like

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