This grilled Monk fish with char grilled asparagus and mango peach salsa is fantastic. The secret is the crispy pan scrapings, made with the help of a very special pan – read on for more.
It’s getting close to Christmas, and this will be one of my last diet meal for a few weeks. I’m actually officially off the 5:2 diet until the new year, but my better half has more fortitude than me and will stick to it for the rest of this week at least. So I’m eating what I want during the day, and eating the low calorie meal at night as moral support. I’ve enjoyed planning my low calorie meals over the last few months, not all have been a success, but I’ve found a few “go to” recipes that are filling, tasty, and quick to make, those are the ones I’ve published on this blog.
Tonight however, I had no plan. I went to the supermarket after work, purchased a Mango, a bunch of asparagus, a couple of peaches, some chicken tenders, and some Monk Fish. I figured I should be able to make a low-calorie meal out of those ingredients. A quick “google” turned up this mango peach salsa http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/07/peach-mango-salsa-gf/ served with grilled fish. My decision was made for me, chicken tenders are going in the freezer.
Once I’ve found a recipe, I attempt to cut it down to 2 servings, calculate the calories, and adjust the ingredients to fit a 300 calorie per serve meal. To my surprise, every ingredient I purchased was below 100 calories per 100 grams. My spreadsheet calculation shows 1025 grams in weight for 600 calories – Tonight, we feast! It also points to the fact I’m a bit of a nerd, using a spreadsheet to calculate the calories, but I believe if you try and guess the calories you’ll end up way off the mark.
Speaking of calories, there is also the problem of finding consistency in Calorie estimates on the web. One site will say 80 calories per 100 grams of Monk fish, and another will say 100 calories per 100 grams, I don’t fret it anymore. I try to be sensible about the process, stick to averages, and not concern myself too much with the tiny discrepancies. I’ve also started using a recipe card plugin that calculates nutritional information in my low calorie posts, and I don’t always agree with the results (I believe my calculations are more accurate). If I’m using a processed product I base my calorie calculation based on the nutritional information on the packaging.
There are three simple components to this dish, (plus the special crispy pan scrapings). Each of them stand on their own, but when combined make a great balanced dish.
Step 1 Mango and Peach salsa
100 grams diced peach flesh
100 grams of Mango flesh, diced
100 grams diced tomatoes – you can remove the seeds if you wish.
1/2 Red onion diced (50 grams)
1/2 red chili finely sliced or chopped
3 or 4 large Basil leaves, thinly sliced
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, and allow rest for 30 minutes to develop flavor.
Step 2. Char Grilled Asparagus Ingredients
200 grams of fresh Asparagus, woody ends removed
Olive Oil spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the Asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes Drain and allow to dry Spray with Olive oil spray place in a cast iron griddle pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until well charred and tender. Step 3 PanFried Monk fish
300 grams of Monk Fish Fillets
Olive Oil spray
salt and pepper
Spray the fish lightly with olive oil spray season with salt and pepper cook over medium high heat in a non stick frying pan for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked.
My “Non-stick” Argosteel fry pan is absolutely the opposite. Everything sticks to it, it is absolutely hopeless as a non-stick pan. Have a look at the following photo and tell me if you think this pan lives up to it’s label. It’s not old, I’ve only had it for a few months, this piece of crap is destined for the rubbish bin. On the plus side, it left a layer of crispy fish bits on the bottom of the pan, and with a lot of elbow grease, I manage to scrape some of the crispy goodness off the top. So the gorgeous crispy bits are thanks to a crap pan, maybe I’ll keep it.
If you want to duplicate the crispy pan scrapings, you may want to opt for a normal frying pan.