Holiday In: A fishing expedition

If you’re angling to deviate a little from the traditional Rosh Hashana fare, here are a few suggestions straight from the sea.

Sea bream with eggplant and asparagus 311 (photo credit: Dan Peretz)
Sea bream with eggplant and asparagus 311
(photo credit: Dan Peretz)
As Rosh Hashana approaches and plans for the holiday meals are being made, the big question of the menu arises once again: Are we going to stick to the old and familiar recipes or will we get a little bold and try at least one new dish?
This week, chef Sahar Rephael from the gourmet restaurant Cramim in Segula (near Kiryat Gat) shares three favorite fish recipes that are as different from gefilte fish as you can imagine but will be ideal for at least one of the holiday meals.
Makes 4 main dishes (or 8 appetizers – in which case, halve the fillets)
✔ 4 fillets of trout, all bones removed
✔ 4 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ Kosher salt
✔ Black pepper, freshly ground For the patties:
✔ 2 small potatoes or 1 large one, grated
✔ 2 small leeks, chopped
✔ 4 small eggs
✔ 2 sprigs thyme
✔ Crushed mustard seeds (optional)
✔ Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 200º. To prepare pancakes: Break eggs into two separate bowls, two in each. Beat the eggs. Add chopped leek, pepper and thyme to one bowl and mix well. Add grated sweet potato, salt, pepper and a pinch of mustard seeds to the other bowl and mix well.
Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place fish on one layer. Brush with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the fish is baking, prepare the leek patties.
Using two tablespoons, shape the mixture into small patties and fry on both sides. It is recommended to fry each mixture in a separate frying pan to save time. Place fried patties on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve warm with a little lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
 ✔ 1 whole grouper
✔ Olive oil
✔ Parsley root, peeled and cut coarsely
✔ Fennel, cut coarsely
✔ Celery stick, cut coarsely
✔ 1 garlic clove cut in half
✔ 1 lemon, cut into eight wedges
✔ 1 tsp. coriander seed
✔ 1 tsp. mustard seed
✔ 7 sprigs thyme
✔ 4 rosemary sprigs
✔ 1⁄2 cup white wine
✔ Salt and pepper
Make shallow cuts along the fish and rub it with oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the fish in a lined baking dish. Mix the vegetables in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and coat with oil. Place the vegetables on both sides of the fish. Crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle and sprinkle over the fish and vegetables. Place the thyme and rosemary on the fish and cover with foil. Bake in a 180º oven for 35 minutes.
Remove the foil, pour the wine over the fish and continue baking for 10 more minutes.
✔ 4 fillets of sea bream
✔ 1 eggplant, roasted over open fire or in the oven; peeled and placed in a strainer to drain excess liquids
✔ 20 asparagus spears, with bottoms peeled
✔ 1 tsp. thyme leaves, chopped
✔ 1 tsp. fresh za’atar or oregano, chopped
✔ 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
✔ Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
✔ Olive oil
✔ Salt and pepper
✔ A bowl of ice water
Season the fish with salt, pepper and thyme. Wrap with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 180º oven. Another option is to sear the fish in a non-stick skillet for 3 minutes on the skin side and 2 minutes on the other side.
In a small bowl, mix chopped herbs. Add a little olive oil and coarse salt.
Have ice water ready. Boil water in a pot and blanch asparagus briefly. Remove and place immediately in the ice water to stop cooking.
Remove from ice water and season with herb mixture.
Divide eggplant into two balls. Dip in olive oil and squeeze a little lemon on each ball. Season with coarse salt. Place fish in a baking dish, place asparagus and eggplant next to it.
Bake in a 180º oven for 8-10 minutes. Drizzle a little oil, herb mixture and lemon before serving.
Courtesy of Cramim, Segula, (08) 850-5859 Open daily 9 a.m. to midnight.