Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fish Bake

The cold of New England Spring feels almost worse than the January chill because in April somehow when I see sun out, or even clouds, I expect something if not warm at least mild. And I’ve put away my silk long underwear and no longer think of getting up at 4am to turn on the oven so there’s warm bread and warm kitchen to eat it in when the family stirs. Luckily, I did remember about slow baked dinners, the kind that keep you warm from late afternoon through evening and beyond as the house holds the rich smell of warm food long after it’s all digested. The light fish (Cod and Haddock) that’s just come into wonderful season makes me think of grills and quick pan-fries with the occasional broiler version, but this slow-baked dish gets the best of the fresh fish and the brisk air that are, alas, both perfectly seasonal. I don’t usually like the smell of a fishy house, but something about the other things that go into this dish make even old fish smell good.

Mediterranean Fish Bake

2 lbs Cod or Haddock (or any white fish-sole and tilapia work well)
3 red, white, or yellow onions, thinly sliced
5-6 sliced tomatoes or 1 jar or can of last summer’s chopped beauties
2 cups kalmata olives
1 lb feta cheese
¼ bottle white wine
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a baking dish with half of the onions, tomatoes, olives, and feta. Lay fish across evenly. Salt and pepper. Top with the other half of the onions, tomatoes, olives, and feta. Drizzle with wine and lemon juice. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake for at least 45 minutes and up to 90 minutes. (It’ll be done after 45 minutes, but won’t get tough or dry for quite a while longer.

This dish also works beautifully in the crock pot. Everything’s the same except cook on low 4-8 hours.

If you don’t love fish, this also works perfectly with chicken.

Serve with rice to catch the yummy sauce.