Rule #55: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
My Daddy-O made this simple weeknight dinner at least once a month. He was the kinda fella who went to the grocery store at least every other day if not every day. He couldn’t ever remember what we already had at the house (chickpeas? half and half?), so to the store we went! This was genuinely a spur-of-the-moment idea he had one afternoon as we drooled over the meat + seafood case. He saw a piece of red snapper, decided he wanted some curry, and thus, Creamy Curried Fish was born.
I haven’t changed a thing from his original recipe other than to write it down and get some measurements. As they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you’ve never had curry before, don’t sweat it. Curry powder is just a mix of a whole bunch of different spices. It tastes amazing – very complex, savory, and exotic. Add in some cilantro, green onion, and lemon, and you’ve got a good situation on your hands.
You start off by melting some butter (about 1 tbs. per fish filet) over medium high heat. Sprinkle the fish with some Kosher salt and lemon juice. Sauté the fish on both sides (skin on is fine) for 2-3 minutes per side.
Remove the fish to a plate and keep warm. In the same pot, add in some green onion and cilantro. Sauté for about 1 minute, then add in some curry powder and chickpeas. Cook 1 more minute.
Add in some chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the browned bits up. Simmer for about 5 minutes until chickpeas are tender.
Lower the heat to low, then pour in some half-and-half.
Y’all. This. Sauce. Right. Here. I’d swim in it if I could. So savory, creamy, and herby!
Now we put the fish back into the sauce, spooning some of the sauce over top of the fish so it’s nice and coated. Cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes, turning the fish halfway through cooking. Remove the skin (if there is any) before serving.
Garnish with more cilantro and green onion if you want! We serve ours over rice or just in a bowl with some roasted veggies on the side.
Creamy Curried Fish
3 tbs. unsalted butter
1 filet of fish per person (red snapper, tilapia, orange roughy, halibut, cod, mahi-mahi)
Kosher salt, to taste
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1½ tbs. curry powder
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half-and-half
Garnish: green onions and cilantro leaves
In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
Prepare both sides of the fish filets by sprinkling with just a pinch of Kosher salt and a splash of lemon juice on each side.
Sear in the butter for about 2-3 minutes each side, or until skin develops a tanned color. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove fish from skillet and keep warm.
In the same pan, add green onions and cilantro. Sauté until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally (about 1 minute). Add chickpeas and curry; stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute until curry is fragrant. Add chicken stock, stirring to scrape the bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until chickpeas begin to tenderize.
Turn heat to low and add the half-and-half, stirring to combine. Add the fish back to the pan, spoon some sauce to cover the fish, and cover the Dutch oven or skillet. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Turn the fish over about halfway through simmering. Remove skin from fish if there is any.
Garnish with more chopped green onions and cilantro.