Spicy fish and roasted sweet potato and eggplant

This week, I’ve chosen to share with you a recipe for spicy fish.

Spicy fish and roasted sweet potato and eggplant (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Spicy fish and roasted sweet potato and eggplant
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Everyone knows that fish is healthy, rich in nutrients and helps you keep your figure. Over time, though, I’ve discovered that people fall into one of two categories: those who love fish, and those who aren’t even willing to taste fish. The latter group even goes so far as to complain about the way fish smell before and after being cooked.
Luckily, I have a foolproof solution that takes away that fishy smell: buy only fresh fish, and soak them in lemon juice with salt before cutting or cleaning them.
This week, I’ve chosen to share with you a recipe for spicy fish. I picked this recipe because it’s easy and quick to prepare.
I like to use Nile perch, which is commonly found in stores in Israel.
If you prefer, though, you can use this same recipe to prepare grouper and mullet, too.
When you go to purchase Nile perch, know that there are three levels of quality. For best results, you should purchase only the highest quality fillets available, which are thick and meaty. But be forewarned – the higher the quality, the higher the price.
In the recipe below, feel free to swap the hot peppers with bell peppers (any color will do) and the hot paprika with sweet paprika or sweet chili sauce. All the ingredients should be arranged in the pot before you place the pot on the flame. Once you start cooking the fish, a wonderful aroma will fill your house.
And as I always say, minimum time in the kitchen can still lead to maximum flavor on your dining-room table.
For a side, or even a vegetarian main, it’s important to integrate raw and cooked vegetables into our meal. Plan to include a range of vegetables with different textures, colors and interesting flavors. A large part of why people enjoy eating food is that it looks inviting and tasty.
I always make an effort to use simple and quick recipes that involve lots of fun colors.
Vegetable dishes should be attractive.
One way to achieve this is by preparing them in unconventional ways and adding some grains or legumes and then, voila! You have an entire salad that was incredibly simple to prepare.
After cutting the vegetables, it is time for the seasoning, which should be light and not too dominant. Adding fresh or dry herbs is also great just for decoration, even if you don’t need them to add flavor.
Sometimes, if time is short, the best way to cook vegetables is to wrap them in baking paper, which should then be enclosed tightly in aluminum foil, and cooked over an open flame or broiled in the oven. Another option is to put vegetables in a bowl and microwave them for seven minutes. All that remains to be done is cut, season and serve them.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.
■ 6-8 fillets of Nile perch
■ 1 tsp. salt
■ 2 hot green peppers
■ 4 large hot red peppers, dried or fresh
■ 10 sprigs of parsley, chopped finely
■ 15 sprigs of coriander, chopped finely
■ 8 cloves of garlic, sliced
■ ½ cup oil
■ 1 heaping Tbsp. hot paprika
■ 1½ Tbsp. sweet paprika
■ 1 Tbsp tomato paste
■ ½ tsp. salt
■ ½ tsp. ground black pepper
■ 1 cup water
Preparation: Wash the fillets of fish well and then sprinkle salt on them. Let them sit for 15 minutes. Rinse them well and then dry them with paper towels.
Cut the dried peppers lengthwise, throw away the seeds and rinse well.
Cut the green peppers into slices. Lay the pepper strips on the bottom of a flat, wide pot. Sprinkle on top half of the parsley, coriander and garlic. Arrange the fish fillets on top of the peppers and then sprinkle with the remaining parsley, coriander and garlic.
Heat the oil in a separate pot. Add the hot paprika, sweet paprika, tomato paste, salt, black pepper and water. Stir until mixed well.
Pour on top of the fish and herbs. Cook covered over a medium flame for 30 minutes.
For the sweet potato:
■ 1 large sweet potato, with the skin left on
■ Some olive oil
■ 2 sprigs of rosemary or thyme
■ Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
■ Baking paper
■ Aluminum foil
Preparation: Place the sweet potato on top of a sheet of baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and place rosemary or thyme on top.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close the baking paper around the sweet potato and then wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
Broil in the oven or over an open flame until soft. Serve hot.
For the eggplant:
■ 1 large eggplant, with the skin left on
■ Some olive oil
■ 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
■ Juice from one lemon
■ 2 Tbsp. green tehina
■ Salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation: Broil the eggplant in the oven or over an open flame until soft. Set the eggplant on a large serving plate and make one long incision lengthwise with a sharp knife.
Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top and serve hot.