Sunday, 18 August 2013

Baked Fish Italian Style

NAME: _Baked Fish Italian Style

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
2 - 4 fish fillets (I used Australian Flathead x 4, you could use flake or something similar)
1 clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup milk
2 tbsp cornflour
1/3 cup crumbled sharp cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cauliflower
1/2 cup bread crumbs
a few sprigs of fresh parsley

Fish Spice
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried garlic granules
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried juniper berries
1 tsp salt

METHOD:
For Fish Spice:
Crumble the bay leaves, place in spice blender, add all the other ingredients, blend to fine powder. Place in an airtight jar for keeping.

For Main Dish:
Trim cauliflower to small florets, blanch in boiling water for 1 - 2 minutes. Use plenty of water to carry some of the pungency away. Trim and clean the fish fillets of bones and traces of skin. Lay cauliflower florets on the base of a glass-lidded casserole, lay the fish fillets on top, aiming to cover the surface from edge to edge.

In a saucepan put the olive oil and gently warm, peel and mash the garlic and drop into oil, allow to warm until garlic is translucent and fragrant, then add three teaspoons of fish spice and stir through. Whisk the cornflour in a few tablespoons of milk, add the rest of milk and cream to saucepan and increase the heat, stirring gently. When almost simmering, add the crumbled cheddar and stir until melted.

Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then stir in the milk with the cornflour, mix well in, and pour all over the fish fillets. When the cream has run to the base of the dish, sprinkle the remaining two cheeses over the fish, and then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over that.

Put lid on casserole and place in moderate oven for around an hour. At one hour, check with a skewer that cauliflower and fish are close to done. Remove lid and turn oven to 210C - 220C. (hot)

Pprepare the rice (1 cup Basmati rice 2 cups water 1 tsp salt) bring to boil with the lid on, simmer until all water is absorbed, then stir and set aside.

Check the fish in the oven, cheese should be browned well. When it is, the dish is done.

SERVING:
Allow to cool for five minutes, then plate up atop a bed of rice, dress with a few parsley sprigs.

NOTES:
I used a bit more oregano than is usually called for in fish spice, but then I like oregano. Play with the fish spice recipe until you get it the way you want. Also, parsley - I generally pluck off just leaves from the sprigs, but that's because I expect my garnish to be eaten along with the dish...

ENJOY!

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