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Quick Fix: Super spuds and snapper

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 9:05 p.m.
Potatoes, boiled or steamed with just a delicate flavor of garlic and rosemary are the perfect side dish for fresh fish. Pictured: Tuscan Snapper and potatoes. MCT

An Italian friend, Vittorio Porciatti, told me “Potatoes, boiled or steamed with just a delicate flavor of garlic and rosemary, are the perfect side dish for fresh fish.”

His wife told me he makes the best potatoes she ever tasted in the microwave; I decided to try them. Vittorio mentioned that one secret to keeping the potatoes moist is to leave some water on the skins after they're washed.

Where to buy fresh fish is a frequent question I get. Here are tips. Make friends with the person selling fish. Ask when it came in, not whether it is fresh; the answer will be yes — meaning it's not frozen. The flesh of fresh fish should be firm to the touch.

Linda Gassenheimer is a food writer for the Miami Herald.

Tuscan Snapper

½ cup chopped tomato

6 pitted black olives

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

2 teaspoons olive oil

¾ pound snapper fillets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chop the tomato, olives and parsley together. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Place the snapper fillets in the skillet to brown for 2 minutes. Turn and season the cooked side with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the snapper. Cover the skillet with a lid and saute for 4 minutes or until the flesh is opaque, not translucent.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 232 calories, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 60 milligrams cholesterol, 35 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 225 milligrams sodium

Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

1 pound russet or Idaho potatoes, diced (about 3½ cups)

2 teaspoons snipped, fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried

2 medium-size cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Wash the potatoes and do not peel. Cut them into ½-inch pieces. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with the rosemary, garlic and 2 tablespoons water. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl and stir the potatoes. Return them to the microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes. The potatoes should feel soft when a knife is inserted. If not, microwave them for another minute. Remove the bowl and let stand for 1 minute. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss well.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 207 calories, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 0 cholesterol, 5 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 43 milligrams sodium

Shopping list

Here are the ingredients you'll need for tonight's Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 medium tomato, 1 small bunch fresh parsley, 1 pound russet or Idaho potatoes, 1 small bunch fresh rosemary or 1 jar dried rosemary, 1 small container pitted black olives and ¾ pound snapper fillets.

Staples: Garlic, olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Hints

Sole, halibut, cod, mahi mahi or other firm white fish can be used. Increase the cooking time to 10 minutes for fish that is 1-inch thick.

Coarsely chop tomato, olives and parsley together in a food processor.

The easiest way to chop fresh rosemary is to snip the leaves from the stem with a scissors.

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