Monday, April 1, 2013

Spetses Island Baked Fish

Summer is almost here. It's time to start island hopping again.  Yannis and I love to travel and going to the neighborhood islands is one of our favorite things to do with friends and family, or just the two of us.  Every island has it's own landscape, myths, heroes and flavors. Today I'm making a wonderful recipe from Spetses, an island just around the corner from us in Poros.  
Booboo got 'tude
Spetses is a pine-covered island with secluded coves, clear waters with superyachts and traditional wooden fishing boats. It attracts an upmarket clientele from all over the world.  I always think of Bouboulina, the only woman to be given the staus of admiral of the navy, the re-enactment of the torching of the Turkish flagship in the harbor and the famous Baked Fish when I visit Spetses.  You'll have to go there yourself to experience all the delights it has to offer, but you can enjoy a little taste of this beautiful island when you bake their famous traditional fish. So put on a little Greek music, open a nice bottle of wine and take off for an island adventure!

Spetses Island Baked Fish

One 2 1/2-3 lb. sae bass or snapper
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup butter
1 T. tomato paste, diluted in 2 T. water
1/2 cup white wine
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped tomatoes, without skin
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
2 T. fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper

Clean the fish very well, place it on a baking pan and sprinkle the belly with salt and pepper. Mix the diluted tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and green pepper, dill, wine, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the fish; sprinkle with half of the parsley and half of the bread crumbs; lay the sliced tomatoes over the fish, sprinkle with the rest of the parsley and bread crumbs.  Bake in a medium oven for one hour, checking occassionaly to see that it has enough juice; baste with the juices from the pan if necessary or add a little wine. It is done when a nice crust has formed over the fish.  Serve with a salad, potatoes or rice.  A good white wine goes perfectly with this island meal.

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