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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crunchy Swai with Basil Goat Cheese Potato Puree

It was destined to be a rainy evening, so I had to take a night off from grilling. Rainy weather always makes me want comfort food, and nothing is more comforting than mashed potatoes.

I had a big package of fresh basil left from my farmers market run, and it was on its last legs, so I had the choice of making pesto, or finding another recipe in which to use it. I remembered seeing an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" where she made a potato puree with basil, so I thought I would make up a version of that for our dinner. Ray likes the combination of goat cheese and basil, so I combined the two. It is heavenly, and the silky texture of the potatoes was a nice contrast to the crispy swai filet.

Crunchy Swai with Basil Goat Cheese Potato Puree
For the potatoes:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add basil leaves, and cook approximately 1 minute until they are bright green, then immediate immerse in a bowl of ice water. Remove and pat dry, and then chop the basil. Set aside. Add potatoes to the same pot of water, bring to a boil, and boil until they are very tender. Add basil leaves back to the potatoes, and then add the remaining ingredients. Puree with immersion blender or hand mixer until very smooth. Cover and let sit while you prepare the fish.

For the fish:
4 4 ounce swai filets
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Mix together the bread crumbs and spices on a plate. Press fish filets into crumb mixture until both sides are well coated. You can do this while the potatoes are boiling. Put olive oil and butter in a large, non-stick skillet and heat until bubbly. Add the filets, and cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Serve over the potato puree.

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