Monthly Mystery Munchies #7: Fish with Orange and Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Reduction

Orange dark choc soy sauce 8This month, I racked my brain (therefore concluding that I do, in fact, have one, albeit hidden under blonde) as to what to cook for November’s Monthly Mystery Munchies. We haven’t done a fish dish yet, and I wanted to do something with a difference, so the theme was fish with an ingredient/s not commonly used. Ann from Grubbs n Critters was happy to do this theme, although we were both initially stumped. Now that I had a theme, I had the challenge of deciding what to use as my surprise ingredient. Fish with a soy sauce reduction is quite a popular choice, but it wasn’t original, intriguing if you will. I liked the idea but needed to add a ‘wow’ factor. I love citrus anything, so I added orange juice and rind, and then chocolate, because why not? It sounds incredibly strange, bizarre, maybe even more ‘ew’ than ‘wow’. But this is why Ann and I do our monthly challenge – we push our boundaries, we try new things, and we learn, and it’s a lot of fun.

In trying to get the reduction portions right, I attempted it with rump steak and bone-in chicken breasts too. The first attempt was an important learning curve – the chocolate was unnoticeable. Bummer. Much disappointment. I was so looking forward to having dinner and dessert in one dish. I initially only used dark chocolate, but it was time to up my game. Enter cocoa powder. Now we’re talking! Or rather, not talking, because my mouth was pretty full. I also decided to use cayenne pepper because I love a bite. Right, now that the orange, dark chocolate, cayenne and soy were to my liking, it was time to pair it with fish. But what fish? So many options. I tried two – Cape yellowtail and hake. Yellowtail is a ‘fishier’ fish whereas hake is more mild. The Husband and I enjoyed both, and it’s entirely dependant on your personal preference. I lean towards hake, he leans towards yellowtail. The important fact is that the reduction perfectly compliments both. As I mentioned earlier, this reduction may be used with both chicken and steak, but there’s something about using it with fresh fish that has a je nes se qua.

Please head over to Grubbs n Critters to see Ann’s wonderful interpretation of this month’s theme! She always brings her A-game and this month is no exception! She made dory fish with a creamy golden kiwi sauce. Kiwis! It seems we were vibing from afar, both using fruit. What a delicious-looking and sounding dish! Well done, Ann, and thank you so much for being such a good sport about, let’s face it, a weird and difficult challenge!

Fish with Orange and Dark Chocolate Soy Sauce Reduction

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies:

Orange dark choc soy sauce 1 3½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon orange rind
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
30g chopped dark chocolate
4 pieces filleted fish (I used Yellowtail and hake)
Butter for frying

 

Making it happen:

Orange dark choc soy sauce 61. Combine all the ingredients, except the dark chocolate and butter, in a pot. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, stir in the dark chocolate until melted. Allow the sauce to cool.

 

Orange dark choc soy sauce 4 12. Put the fish in a freezer bag and pour the cooled reduction over it. Refrigerate for an hour.

 

 

20151108_202240 13. Remove from the fridge. On medium heat, using a large pan, melt the butter (about 2 tablespoons) and add the fish to the pan, pouring the remaining sauce over it. Fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side. This is dependent on the thickness of the fish, so check the fish after 3 minutes.

 

Orange dark choc soy sauce 114. Remove from the pan and serve hot. You can pair this with baked potatoes, savoury rice or chips.

 

Marinated Baked Pork Chops

I love a good marinade, I really do. What makes this recipe so inviting is that you can prep the pork chops the night before, or the morning of, leave them to marinate in this delicious, tangy and sweet sauce, and pop them out of the fridge when you’re ready to cook. No standing over the hob frying them; whip them out of the fridge, plonk them in the oven and you’re done. They are so tender and juicy, not a hint of dryness, and the taste… oh man, the flavours.

Marinated baked pork chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Marinated pork chops ingredientsSupplies:

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (obsessed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (live for)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 pork loin chops, fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Marinated pork chops 2 31. Mix all ingredients. In a baking dish, lay your pork chops flat and coat in the marinade on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

 

 

Marinated pork chops 3 22. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the chops for 20 – 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies. Done.

 

Easy Kassler Steaks

When The Husband and I were first getting to know each other, he would come over to my Mom’s place every Monday night for dinner and every Monday without fail, she would make Kassler steak. You see, the Mothership was not the type who’d spend hours cooking but this is ideal if you want something quick and fuss-free. I marinated the steaks for two hours but if you’re pressed for time, you can do this for half an hour or the night before, in which case you just whip them out of the fridge and fry them for a few minutes. Convenient much?

Kassler is a cured cut of meat (meaning it’s been salted and smoked) so it’s already quite salty. As a result, don’t add any salt until you’ve tasted the final product. The sauce will caramelise, topping off the delicious flavour of the Kassler steaks. Serve with mashed potatoes and, if you want to be very traditional, sauerkraut.

Easy Kassler Steaks

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 Kassler steaks
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (you can use a teaspoon of dried rosemary)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Kassler 1 21. Mix all ingredients and marinate the Kasslers for half an hour (you can marinate them the night before too).

 

 

Kassler 2 22. Heat some oil in a pan and add the meat, pouring half the juices into the pan too. Fry on medium heat until the steaks are done, about 5 minutes per side or until they’re golden brown.

Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts

These days I’m all about that baste, about that baste. Yes I did. If you have read my previous post, you will know that I’m trying to find healthier chicken breast recipes that are both tasty and interesting to cook. Enter honey mustard baste. The Husband has a penchant for hot mustard. Dude has it with everything. I, on the other hand, am more of a wholegrain kinda gal, so why not use both? Indeed, that’s exactly what I did and it was much yumminess. This recipe is easy and it takes less than three minutes to mix all the ingredients. I marinated the chicken for a couple of hours, turning it once, but if you’re pressed for time, try to marinade it for half an hour. I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts but you can use skin-on, bone-in breasts. Just remember this will take a few extra minutes to cook.

 

Honey mustard chicken 51 tablespoon hot mustard
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chilli sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon liquid chicken stock (undiluted)

 

 

 

Honey mustard chicken 3 (2)Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Put the chicken breasts in a dish and pour the marinade over, turning the chicken to make sure it’s fully coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour to two hours, turning the chicken once.

 

 

 

Honey mustard chicken 4 (2)

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Bake the chicken for 25 – 30 minutes, depending on your oven. See? It’s that easy! Enjoy!