Ahi with Braised Watercress & Red Pepper Coulis

Happy St. Pat's!
My presentation usually leaves something to be desired. I'm going to work on that aspect of cooking. Oh brother, I made enough of the coulis for two dinners - what comes of following directions too closely - and could have braised up all of my watercress as it cooked down so much. The recipe was adapted (not enough) from Sam Choy's Sauteed Onaga with Red Pepper Coulis and Braised Watercress. Especially for today we need more green in this, but the colors were brilliant anyway, and everything tasted superb together. I used ahi - Bob's favorite (and the only fish he really wants to be confronted with). The remaining coulis will be great with some Corn Fritters I'm planning to make.

What started this off was beautiful, big red bell peppers in our Natural Foods Market at an unbelievably low price. Usually they're right out of sight and I'll get one at the most, once in awhile. Then, I've been wanting to make a coulis of some sort, since I figured out what the heck it was. I tried straining this one after pureeing, as instructed, but it was coming out way too thin and leaving all that nice vegetable behind, so I pushed it through a bit more, then just combined everything. I'm not a trained chef, folks, just trying stuff as we go along. I have to tell you though, it turned out fine. The vibrant red bell pepper taste really sings.

Since you all most likely have your favorite way of cooking a nice fillet or two of fish, I'll just give Sam Choy's Red Pepper Coulis recipe. The watercress, cut into 1 inch segments, was simply wilted in 2 tablespoons of butter. His recipe only called for 1/2 cup of cress! I don't think that wee bit would even show up under the fish. He instructs to place the watercress in the center of the plate and put the fish on top, then decorate with the sauce. He also whipped up a Kabocha Squash Sauce to make things even more special. As you may have noticed, I just put the bit of green to one side and let it all swim in red sauce. I would definitely suggest using a whole bunch of watercress. And, I only used 1 1/2 peppers, though they were big ones. Still, as I said it made quite a bit. Nothing wrong with that.
Red Pepper Coulis
2 red bell peppers, medium dice
4 shallots, medium dice
2-3 oz. vermouth
6 oz. white wine
1 sprig of thyme
2 oz. dry sherry
salt & pepper to taste

Split red peppers in half, remove seeds and dice. In a sauce pan, add the red peppers, shallots, 2-3 oz. wine and the vermouth, and thyme. Boil for 25 minutes.

Puree and strain, and season with salt, pepper and sherry. I cooked the sherry along with the wine and vermouth.

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