Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Plaki--Baked Fish

"What a tender fish I had, how perfectly did I serve it.  Not drugged with cheese, nor decked on top with herbs.  But even when baked, it looked exactly like when it was alive" 
--Deipnosophistae, 200 A.D.
Provider of Crappies
When I first visited Yannis home in Greece and was served grilled mullets with their heads on, I was absolutely astonished.  I even got up on top of the refrigerator to take a picture to show my family back in Minnesota!  You see, Minnesota is called the land of 10,000 lakes and probably 95 % of the population are fishermen.  My Dad was part of that percentage and brought home vast amounts of crappies and walleyes.  When they arrived on our table they were fried or broiled, fillets, served with tartar sauce and copious amounts of Land O Lakes Butter.  Yannis family ate alot of fish when he was growing up too as fish was a very cheap item back then.  His grandmother would prepare it in many different ways, but plaki, or baked fish was always one of his favorites.  Greeks want to know that their fish is fresh so they prepare it with the heads on to show the eyes which reflect the state of the meal!   I prepare it with frozen fillets...I'm sure Deipnosophistae wouldn't approve, but I'll bet these would go over big in Minnesota! 
you can caaaall me Al!

2 lbs. fish fillets
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery (optional)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup white wine
2 lemons
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Wash and clean the fish;( you can use most any type of fish for this dish mackerel, cod, snapper or haddock are a few suggestions).  Dry the fish well and place them in a well oiled baking dish.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the fish after sqeezing the juice of one lemon over them.  Put the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well; pour over the fish fillets.  Bake at 350F/180C for 45 minutes or until fish is done.  Serve with a salad and boiled potatoes.  Yannis Yiayia would put potatoe rondells in with the fish and you could actually add any thinly sliced vegetable you like to this recipe.  This is such an easy way to prepare fish and is really, really good!

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