Pescado al Horno con Patatas
The cuisine of Menorca in the Balearic Islands is characterised by fresh local produce from the land and sea. Take a seat outside the seafood restaurants of Ciutadella, Mahón and Fornells and you’ll be overwhelmed by the choice of dishes available. These include the classic ‘caldereta de langosta’ (lobster stew), numerous paella-type dishes, shellfish tapas and several types of white fish which are grilled or baked.
A particular favourite is ‘rape a la menorquina’ which is monkfish cooked in the oven with potatoes and tomatoes then topped with breadcrumbs. This Menorcan-style dish is the inspiration for our ‘pescado al horno con patatas’ recipe which can be prepared with any white fish.
The dish is cooked in the oven using a casserole dish or earthenware pot and includes a fish stock and a tomato sauce. Both of these can be prepared using the instructions which appear at the end of this book. To save time you might prefer to use shop-bought fish stock and tinned tomatoes with a little tomato puree.
Serves 4 people
- 150ml olive oil
- 900g potatoes thinly sliced
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 4 x 175g white fish fillets – use the white fish you prefer or is most available
- 300ml fresh Tomato Sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 150ml Fish Stock
- 4-5 handfuls of breadcrumbs
- 100ml dry white wine
- plain flour
If you are going to make your own tomato sauce and fish stock then that is what you should do first.
Perhaps the most important thing in this recipe is that the potatoes and the onions must be thinly sliced or they won’t cook through in the time that the fish takes to cook.
In a large frying pan heat the oil and add the potatoes for about a minute turning them over once so that they will absorb some of the olive oil flavour. Remove them and do the same with the onions.
Coat the fish with the flour and fry for about half a minute on each side.
Now get a large casserole dish and put the potatoes in the bottom of it, then put the onions on the next layer, next the tomato sauce, garlic and paprika with the fish fillets on top. Pour the fish stock over it, season with salt and pepper and scatter the breadcrumbs on top. If possible use fresh breadcrumbs but if necessary you can use shop bought ones.
Bake in a preheated oven 190ºC/375ºF (gas mark 5) for about 40 minutes. Half way through the cooking time take the casserole out of the oven and pour the white wine over it to moisten it. You can also add a dash of ‘Anís del Mono’ (Spanish aniseed liquor) if you have some available.
You can serve this dish with a salad or some vegetables and some crusty bread.