I remember being intimidated by preparing fish back in Russia. But of course! You had to buy the fish and totally clean it yourself – scale, gut, etc… And, I’ve just seen that this is the way people recommend to do it now. What a great recipe! I am totally going to try this sans cleaning the fish, though.
Cooking fish here, in the blessed land of the USA is a breeze. You will get your fish cleaned at the counter – just cook it!
It is really very easy to cook fresh fish, and I love the fact that you can just put it in the oven with minimum preparation, and enjoy it hot, warm or cold.
Yesterday, I had my family over so I bought my fish at a store where I rarely go, Pomegranate. Those of us in Brooklyn, and even in the whole city that keep kosher, certainly, know it or know of it. It is a very fine establishment that, I believe, moved other neighbourhood kosher stores from the concept “it’s kosher, and this is enough” to at least some higher standards of cleanliness and service. Sadly for me, the store is way overpriced. However, I go there once in a while before hosting guests to get the best produce possible.
So this time, I got some nice whole trout that I got cleaned right at the counter, yes!
I have experimented with Joan Nathan’s recipe a bit and came up with this variation:
One whole cleaned fish
About a tablespoon of diced preserved lemon
About a teaspoon of capers
One or two scallions chopped finely
Some parsley chopped finely
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp of sumac
A dash of Aleppo pepper
A dash of freshly ground black pepper
Lemon or lime juice of about half a fruit
Clean your fish under the running water.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients but fish and olive oil.
Preheat your oven to 370F. Take a heatproof dish and pour just a bit of olive oil to cover the bottom and sides of it if your fish is a bit too big like mine was.
Put the fish, and stuff it with the mixture reserving about half a tablespoon worth. Scatter the remainder of the stuffing on top of the fish and pour just a bit more oil on top.
Cover tightly with aluminium foil and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size of your fish.
Uncover the fish after this time, taste for doneness and spices, add salt if needed and bake for another 5 – 6 minutes uncovered.
You can eat it hot, warm or cold after refrigerating for a few hours or even overnight. Serve it with rice, salads or couscous. I find that this is a very light and healthy dish, which is an additional benefit to taste.