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 your beloved 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!

61 Comments Add yours

  1. Fartfist says:

    Once again, I am delighted by your content!
    I sincerely wish you so many praises!

    ~FF

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I thank you so much for a lovely comment, darling!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Fartfist says:

        I am thanking you here! Now we are a thankful bunch! 😉

        ~FF

        Liked by 3 people

      2. LOL Aren’t we! 😻

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Fartfist says:

        …and I am thankful for that fact as well 😉

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Jackie2015 says:

    Would it be possible to use salmon instead?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You can try, dear Jackie, but in that case, I would cut salmon into smaller pieces, perhaps even bite size, otherwise it would be too fatty. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jackie2015 says:

        Yes, I have thought about that too. Thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Always my pleasure, dear Jackie.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. koolaidmoms says:

    Yum! Looks amazingly delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a neat back story the dish has, i enjoy learning here.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi, and I also make it with tofu, but use crushed peanuts instead of almonds.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love fast and with fish and beans…delicious…Cheers dear Dolly Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, darling! 🥂😻

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A Divine meal. Thank you for the explorative love, where the old world meets the present! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, darling! 🥂😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 💐🥰🍮🍂🍮🍂💐You are very welcome! Have an enjoyable weekend!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. You too, darling! 😻

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I hope you are having a restful weekend! It has been a busy January for most of us. Best Regards!🔔🍂💐

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Blessings to you, sweetheart!

        Like

  7. I knew there had to be a reason why Cheddar cheese is my favourite – just to get my pulses racing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL Isn’t that the reason Italians serve cheeseboard for dessert? Thank you for commenting, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a feast for the eyes! 👀🍃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Gail!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love that you used both the fish and the green beans in this, both are often almondine dishes. I also appreciate the lovely mess of the garlic with the nuts!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That was my thinking exactly; I thought they should become friends. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Charlee: “Mmmm, fish!”
    Chaplin: “We’ll just take it straight up!”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Barmalei: I would gladly share with you, friends, but Mama wouldn’t let me have any! Is that fair?
      Meows and Purrs from The Cat Gang.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This looks delicious! Almonds are so great in such dishes. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit! Shabbat Shalom!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Rohvannyn says:

    Another lovely journey through history and the kitchen! There are these almonds that I love so dearly – they have just a kiss of cinnamon and vanilla. I get them at my natural foods store but you could probably make them. They are wonderful! Thank you for posting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Almonds with a kiss – what a great idea! Thank you so much, dear friend, for your kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Fruit rather than flowers is not so far-fetched an idea. A Holocaust survivor once shared w/ me the story of a very special Valentine. Before Jews were forced into concentration camps, they were deliberately starved. It was difficult to find nourishing food — or any food at all — in the ghetto. But somehow my friend’s husband managed to locate enough vegetables for a small bouquet. Tragically, he later perished in the camps. But her son continues the tradition of a vegetable bouquet for Valentine’s Day. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Anna, your comment touched me to the depth of my heart! Would you mind if I include it in a post, with credit to you, of course?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The story is not mine, Dolly. It was the actual experience of a woman named Hannelore. She would not speak about her ordeal in the camps. If you do pass it on, please, credit her.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Most certainly, dear Anna. I have realized that you were re-telling someone else’s story, yet you are the one who kindly shared it with me, so I will credit both you and her.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. What a very interesting and also funny story. I never had mixed almonds with garlic, but i will now try to do. I a sure it will be like a fireworks. 😉 Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It came out very tasty, but sometimes I feel like I am back in my 6th grade chemistry lab: you mix this with that and see what happens. LOL
      Thank you for stopping by, dear friend.

      Like

  15. Ooh almond with fish sounds like a really great compliment of flavors!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. cookingflip says:

    Lots of garlic and almonds, slabs of fish, refreshing green beans–I am euphoric!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, darling; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. purpleslob says:

    I love tilapia!! And green beans. Sadly, allergic to almonds. 😦 I had heard long ago that tomatoes were considred aphrodiasic in ancient times. Amandine is a pretty name!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. An alternative to almonds in this case is sesame seeds. Also comes out very tasty.
      The story with tomatoes is that they were confused with mandrakes (remember, the ones Reuven found and brought to his mother Leah to entice Jacob back to her bed, and Rachel tried to get them from her sister). Mandrakes were actually used in Rome to make love potions.
      Thank you for stopping by, dear purple person!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Oh yes, I remember Leah paying him to love you!! Such a sad story. But I didn’t know tomatoes were confused with mandrakes. Thanks for new info!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My pleasure, dear Melinda.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        Love her, not you! lol ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, they did figure it out at the end, didn’t they!
        😻

        Like

    1. THank you so much, dear Alexander!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am going to try this intriguing recipe 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I hope you enjoy it – good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    SHE SURE KNOWS A LOT OF STUFF—AND WE EAT IT UP-! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear Jonathan.

      Liked by 2 people

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