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orange ginger glazed sablefish and collards with potlikker

This post could also be called “how to kill a bird and a fish with one stone” because most of the ingredients in it are also found in local kitchen’s fantastic Chinese orange chicken recipe. I submit this recipe as a delicious dish to make in the same week as the chicken. Simply make the sauces together at the same time; the orange chicken sauce can be easily stored and used multiple times. Although it has its humble origins on the side of a package of Trader Joe’s fish, this recipe is elevated to restaurant-quality status when paired with collard greens in a spicy vinegared potlikker to counterbalance the sweetness of the fish.

orange ginger glazed sablefish2 (~0.75 lb. each) sablefish (aka. black cod, butterfish) filets
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbs. orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbs. oil
salt and pepper

Preheat broiler. Wrap a baking sheet or broiler pan with foil. Add filets skin-side down and season with salt and pepper. Combine remaining ingredients and drizzle lightly over fish. Broil filets for 3-5 minutes, then reduce heat to 450 degF and cook for approximately 10 minutes until it flakes easily with a fork.

collard greens in spicy potlikker

collard greens
oil/bacon grease
meat or veggie stock
cider vinegar
crushed pepper flakes

“Pot liquor” or “potlikker,”¬†as I and Zell Miller prefer, is what we southerners call the juice left in the pan after cooking collards or meat. It is chock full of healthy, delicious goodness and should never be poured down the drain. Here is what my grandmother says about her mother’s potlikker: “To this day I love potlikker. My mother would cook meat in the pan, take the meat out, always overcooked–it’s the way she cooked it–and then pour hot water in, and I’d take bread and scoop that up. And I liked it better than the meat.”

This dish couldn’t be simpler, and once you know how to cook collards, you can really finish them with whatever spices or seasonings you like. For two people, use one hefty bunch of collards. Start a skillet heating over medium-low heat with 1-2 tsp. of oil or bacon grease. Add a few smashed cloves of garlic. Meanwhile, remove the stems and chop the leaves into 2-inch pieces. There are two ways to cook them from this point, the slow way and the fast way. I’ll write both.

Slow way: Rinse collards and add them, still dripping, to the pan with the garlic. Add broth–not too much, just to cover 1/2 way, and salt to taste (note: the right amount of salt is the secret to making this dish great). Cook over medium-low (a light simmer) for 30 minutes until tender.

Fast way (this way is undoubtedly faster but also leeches flavor and vitamins): Add collards to boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and add to the skillet with the broth–about a cup–and simmer lightly for 10 minutes.

Either way you cook them above ends in the same way. Remove collards from the heat and add a splash of vinegar and pepper flakes to taste. Serve in a bit of the potlikker from the pan. Because the fish recipe above is Asian, you could also change it up and serve the collards with Asian ingredients: fish sauce (for saltiness), rice vinegar for tang, and chili oil for heat.

Author’s Note: This post is part of Tasty Traditions¬†and Fight Back Friday