If you have been following my blog, you will know that I am quite Ottolenghi-addicted. I love his recipes mainly because they use the ingredients that I am completely familiar with here in Turkey but he uses them in very different ways.
Here in Istanbul, we do like our fish. This recipe is suitable for any white fish fillet which gives us plenty of leeway. In this instance, I have used mezgit/whiting.
|bought in Kadiköy çarşı|
My only objection to an Ottolenghi recipe is that it's a bit longwinded! But a few extra ingredients with instructions to match make for a dish with a depth of flavour that our regular everyday offerings cannot compete with.
I think this is a great dish to try out next time you're having people over. It's really not difficult and makes regular fish look festive. You bring it to the table in a huge serving dish, the one you actually cooked it in, and because of the colours, it immediately looks appetising and just plain fabulous! Which it is. At least we can get those beautiful red and yellow peppers now in Turkey. And the aroma is incredibly inviting...
|love those red and yellow peppers!|
So here we go:
Marinated Sweet & Sour Fish
from Ottolenghi's 'Jerusalem'
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices (350g in total)
1 tbsp coriander seeds/kişniş tohumu
2 peppers (1 red and 1 yellow, deseeded and cut into 1 cm slices (300g in total)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 bay leaves
1½ tbsp curry powder/köri
3 tomatoes, chopped (320g in total)
2½ tbsp sugar
5 tbsp cider vinegar/elma sirkesi (not quite the same but will do)
500g white fish eg if you are in the UK, pollack, cod, haddock or halibut - divided into 4 pieces but here in Turkey, go for mezgit or levrek/sea bass (when in doubt, I always go for levrek)
Ottolenghi also recommends small whole fish eg red mullet/barbunya;sardines/sardalya or small mackerel/uskumru, scaled and gutted
seasoned flour, for dusting
2 large eggs, beaten
20g chopped coriander/kişniş
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas Mark 5.
- Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan or casserole that fits in the oven. Add the onions and coriander seeds and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the peppers and cook for a further 10 minutes before adding the garlic, bay leaves, curry powder and tomatoes. Cook for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, vinegar, 1½ tsp of salt and some black pepper and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a separate frying pan. Sprinkle the fish with some salt, dip in flour, then in egg and fry for about 3 minutes, turning once. Dry on a paper towel and add to the pan with the peppers and onion, pushing the vegetables aside so the fish sits on the bottom of the pan. Add about 250 ml of water so that the fish is just immersed in the vegetables and liquid.
- Place the pan in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the fish is cooked.
- Remove and leave to come to room temperature. the fish can be served then but is actually better after a day or two in the fridge.
- Before serving, taste and add salt and pepper, if needed, and garnish with coriander.
|it looks yum, doesn't it?|
|here is the dish with all the ingredients in place, the fish sitting on the bed of peppers and onion|
I couldn't take a picture of the finished dish as I had to serve at the table! But take it from me: this is a dish worthy of your best friends, try it next time you invite them over :)