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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fez-Style Baked Fish

It's summer, which means on any given day, we're likely to be out playing right up until dinnertime.  So I try to get everything ready for dinner in the morning or the night before so that the most I have to do at dinnertime is stick a prepared casserole in the oven, dump a bunch of stuff into a skillet or even less if possible. 

This is a new twist (for me) on flavors for fish...I love the combination of tomatoes and olives, potatoes and saffron, garlic and cumin but I've never applied it to fish.  The original recipe calls for cilantro along with parsley, but I'm one of those people to whom cilantro tastes weird so I substituted garden mint (read: I can't remember what variety of mint it is anymore) for the cilantro.  I also didn't have cherry tomatoes on hand, so I used a 15 oz. can of cut-up, drained whole tomatoes instead. 

Here's what I did this morning...I mixed up the marinade for the fish (which is still thawing a leetle), parboiled the potatoes and put them in my baking dish, and sliced/assembled the rest of the veggies.  I put the fish in the marinade (even if it's not totally thawed) later in the afternoon before we went out.  When we got home, I put the 3 components together in the baking dish while the oven preheated and baked 30 minutes while wrestling the kiddos into a dinner-appropriate state of cleanliness.  If I had been prepping the night before because I'd be gone all day, I'd go ahead and marinate the fish starting in the morning but not overnight due to the acid content of the marinade.

Another make-ahead thought...if you have leftover boiled potatoes from another meal, use those in this dish!  A single layer of pre-cooked taters in a square baking dish will do you.

One more note...my husband liked this very well as a fish dish, but also thought it would rock as a chicken dish.  Just bake 30-40 minutes for chicken breasts, until they're cooked through.
Adapted from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/dining/baked-fish-fez-style-recipe.html

Fez-Style Baked Fish
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/2" thick if large or quartered if small
salt and pepper

1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
pinch saffron
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 lbs. thick-cut white fish (I'm using mahi)

1 15 oz can whole tomatoes, drained and cut up roughly
1 bell pepper, any color, thinly sliced
1/2 cup black olives
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add potatoes, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Drain and spread in a lightly oiled 9x9 baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Combine marinade ingredients in a shallow dish.  Whisk to combine, then add fish. Turn once and let marinate up to several hours.

Cut up and combine tomatoes, pepper, olives and salt/pepper.  Fridge potatoes, fish and veggies until dinner hour.

To bake, preheat oven to 350F.  Place fish on top of potatoes.  Top with veggies and remaining marinade.  Bake 30 minutes until fish is cooked through. Pin It

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