You may have wondered why I don’t have any fish recipes up on my blog. Well, it’s a sad tale. As an ex-South African, the one thing I miss most about living there is the fish. South African fish is without doubt the most delicious fish in the world (or at least the Western world). It is meaty, firm, flaky when cooked, plentiful and really hard to beat. I’ve eaten fish in Australia, the UK, Canada, Europe and the US and while there is wonderful fish in those regions, I haven’t found anything that comes close to South African fish.
That brings me to Israel. The fish here is, in two words, not good. There’s almost no local sea fish and the farmed freshwater fish are at best so-so. There are fish shops that sell fresh sea fish, but it’s usually extremely expensive. I do recommend that once in a while, you treat yourself and your family and go for a beautiful piece of fresh fish. Otherwise, it’s the frozen muck that will just have to do. I have tried a lot of different frozen fish. The frozen salmon is always an good option because it’s meaty enough to withstand the freezing process and you can get very decent results. Recently, I’ve been getting frozen halibut in the supermarkets. One recipe that has worked really well was a poached halibut and this will inaugurate my fish section.
I always make new fish dishes with trepidation because of the quality of the fish. Here, the method keeps the fish moist, the flavors work really well and it’s very low fat. When I made this, it was gobbled up with delight.
POACHED HALIBUT IN WHITE WINE AND PEPPERS
1 kg frozen halibut (you can also use any other firm fish such as salmon)
2 cups white wine or chicken broth (or a combination of the two)
2 red peppers finely chopped
¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper flakes (optional – this adds a really nice spicy kick. If your family doesn’t like spicy, leave it out)
4 cloves of garlic crushed
Salt and ground black pepper
How to do it
1. Thaw the fish, rinse it and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) wide slices and pat dry.
2. In a large wok or skillet, combine the wine/stock, peppers, cayenne pepper and garlic and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the fish to the liquid skin side down in one layer, sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper and spoon the liquid over all the pieces of fish. Cover and continue to simmer for about 12 minutes or until the fish begins to flake when you separate it with a fork.
4. Remove the fish from the liquid and place it on a serving plate. Drain the peppers and use them to decorate the platter.
Serve with lemon wedges.