Learn To Cook Healthy With Fish

Chef Gary Bedsworth (right) will join nutrition consultant Peggy Martin for the next Cookin’ for Health class at the Payson Public Library.

Chef Gary Bedsworth (right) will join nutrition consultant Peggy Martin for the next Cookin’ for Health class at the Payson Public Library. |

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Want to learn how to choose the best fish and prepare it in a healthy way? Get hooked up with the next Cookin’ for Health class at the Payson Public Library at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 facilitated by nutrition consultant Peggy Martin.

The topic is “What’s fishy about fish” and the class will explore how to make intelligent choices of fish at a supermarket — what kind it is, what it eats, where it was caught and whether it was farmed or wild. For those concerned with environmental issues, the session will include a discussion on buying fish produced in a sustainable way.

To accompany the Chef Gary Bedsworth’s grilled fresh tuna, participants will prepare a Citrusy Soy Sauce glaze that brings out a balanced blend of flavors.

Next, Bedsworth will prepare Hotel Russel Ersine Watercress Salad using a recipe developed by Alabama chef James Boyce, based on a dish served at a historic Huntsville hotel. The zesty vinaigrette partners well with spicy watercress topped with toasted quinoa, often referred to as the “Supergrain of the Future.”

Additionally, the event features Kiwi Crunchy Romaine salad, which partners well with grilled tuna and provides a high fiber content. The bright green kiwi fruit slices with little black seeds boast “more vitamin C than a small orange,” along with potassium, fiber and lusty tropical colorful appeal. The New Zealand crop is available now through next month.

Hotel Russel Erskine Watercress Salad

The blend of horseradish, Wor­cestershire sauce and dry mustard makes for a zesty vinaigrette.

2-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

Pinch of dry mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

2 to 3 bunches of watercress

Salt and white pepper to taste

In a blender, combine cider vinegar, sugar, horseradish, Worcester­shire sauce, paprika and mustard. Gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream and blend until the dressing is emulsified.

In a large bowl, toss the watercress with the dressing. Season with salt and white pepper and top with toasted quinoa (recipe follows).

Adapted from Food & Wine Annual 2012

How to properly clean and toast quinoa

Preparation time: 10 minutes; total time: 25 minutes; makes 1 cup; serving 4.

1 cup quinoa

water (for cleaning) to remove the grains bitter coating of saponin

Removing the saponin:

Measure the quinoa into a large bowl. Fill it with clean water to soak, then swish the quinoa with a wire whisk for a few minutes until the soapy residue comes out.

Now strain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, rinse with fresh water and set aside.

Cooking the quinoa:

Heat a 12-inch stainless steel sauté pan on medium low.

Put one cup of the wet quinoa in the pan and wire whisk the quinoa around the pan.

The grain will absorb the water and start popping as it dries out. Whisk until the grains start to brown. The quinoa will smell nutty when it’s done.

Remove from the pan and place in a bowl to cool.

Store it in a jar in the fridge and keep 3 to 4 cups on hand.

Source: Chef Joey Z. from April 27, 2010 at food.com

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