Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fish Provencal

I thought it was time to share a good fish recipe. This is really a good foundation method that can be adapted to pretty much any type of fish. The secret ingredient is Herbes de Provence which is blend of basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram and some other stuff like lavender. This is really a simple recipe but it is also one that is easy to mess up by overcooking the fish. In baking fish the trick is to keep the fish in a moist cooking medium and not cooking directly in the high heat of the oven. In this recipe we use a nice blend of ingredients from the mediterranean but don't feel restricted to these. Yellow squash, fennel, carrots, peppers, all kinds of vegetables can work just make sure they are fresh. The tomatoes, olives, garlic and onion are a must however.

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus some some more for the pan
1 onion, chopped( I like vidalia or red onions best for baking)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 small zucchini, cut into large dice
2 tomatoes, chopped ( you can peel and seed them if you want but I don't)
1 tablespoon herbes de provence
20 black olives, such as niçoise or kalamata, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 6-ounce fish fillets or 1 24-ounce piece(halibut, cod, tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi, snapper, sea bass, tilapia, etc,)

Preheat your oven to 375° or 350° if convection. While your oven is heating brush a shallow ovenproof casserole with some olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, and herbs in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Just cook them until they just begin to soften, maybe 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and the tomato and sauté until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the olives and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put the fish in the oiled casserole and brush with more olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Carefully spoon the vegetable mixture over the fillets or fish. Into the oven and bake until just barely firm in the center. This should be about 10 minutes. Serve immediatelty. This goes nice with couscous.

Just because I specify herbes de provence in the recipe doesn't mean you could subsitute fresh thyme or basil or oregano or just parsely if that is what you have. Dried works, just don't use as much.

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