Merluza a la Cazuela (oven baked hake)
Hake is eaten a lot in Galicia, it is great for baking as it has a firm, sweet, meaty flesh and is a good substitute for cod (though in this recipe any firm white fish will do). It is traditionally cooked in a clay dish (a cazuela) and everything seems to taste better when cooked in earthenware…however of course you can use any oven proof dish…
Here is how Carmen (mum to me) makes it…
To make the sauce:
Chop 3 onions, 1 garlic clove and 1 small red pepper add to olive oil in a pan and sauté gently till tender (not brown). Add black pepper, some mixed herbs, parsley and a little dry white wine or dry sherry, some sweet paprika, a squeeze of lemon juice and 4 tbsp of fish stock (you could use chicken stock also). Leave to simmer for a few minutes till all ingredients are amalgamated, add salt to taste.
Meanwhile fry some thick cut potato slices till partially cooked, then remove from oil and use then to line the base of your cazuela or oven proof dish (add a little salt). Add a little fish stock to the potatoes.
Place your thickly sliced hake pieces over the potatoes, season them and spoon over generous amounts of the sauce. Place in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes, when the fish is nearly cooked take out of the oven and add some large white asparagus chunks (tinned or fresh and blanched), some thick red pepper slices and a few peas, return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Allowing the dish to sit for at least 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven will improve the flavour. Eat along with a chilled glass of albariño or ribeiro wine…
other foody posts on this blog:
lemons mrs beeton and colombia lebre con castañas callos a la gallega ossobuco vs xerrete in praise of colombian food restaurant still lives few flowered recipes first forage of the season nose to tail and farajullas flloeira cocido gallego albariño wine genius chorizos returning to the matanza chocolate con churros pani puri sunday cicchetti tea-break baracca empanada revelations in a milanese restaurant further adventures in foraging cooking the haul foraging2 foraging nose to tail (s)light relief pulpo a la gallega the matanza morcilla and dying arts jamòn serrano