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Fish with salsa, spinach and bacon February 25, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fish.

This meal came about rather by accident. I wanted to experiment with some smaller whole fish such as sardines, but when I went to visit my fishmonger, they didn’t have any! I have seen sardines there before so I am hopeful I can still experiment in the future. While they didn’t have any sardines, they did have some fillets of King George whiting, so I thought I’d cook them up instead.

I began by making some tomato salsa. I chopped up tomatoes, shalots, garlic, parsley, and added cayenne pepper (rather a lot, as it turned out!), salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. I let it sit for a while to let the flavours intermingle.

I decided to make spinach with bacon in it as a side dish. I started with chopping up some bacon and cooking it in some butter. A few bits of parsley managed to escape the salsa and ended up with the bacon…

Next, I prepared the whiting by seasoning it, and adding some olive oil, and grilling it in the oven. If it had been a nicer day, I might have barbecued it, but decided it was better to grill the fish. When the fish was in the oven, I cleaned and chopped the spinach, and boiled it. When it was done, I added it to the cooked bacon.

By this time the fish was done. I put some salsa over the fish and added some spinach on the side. While this was a simple dish, the flavours were delicious and complemented each other well. As I mentioned, I did add rather a lot of cayenne pepper to the salsa and it was very spicy! I was concerned that the side of spinach and bacon would seem arbitrary and wouldn’t fit in with the fish; however, the bacon added a nice salty kick, and the spinach complemented the fish and salsa well – as well as cooling down the salsa a bit!

I still want to play with some sardines and do interesting things like stuff them, and cook them in vine leaves. In the meantime though, this dish was a nice consolation dish.



1. gs - March 1, 2010

First, although I haven’t commented before, I’m a faithful reader. I found you through our common love of Nero Wolfe, and the rest is history. 🙂 The murder mystery told in cookies was especially clever. Anyway:

=I might have barbecued it, but decided it was better to grill the fish. When the fish was in the oven=

As an American, I’m trying to figure out what went on here. I think American English “grill” probably means the same as Australian English “barbecue” — to cook on a metal grid over an open flame. At any rate, in AmE we would never be able to grill in an oven. Can you clarify the actual cooking process used for me, please?

Thank you.

inspiredbywolfe - March 1, 2010

Hi gs, thanks for your comment! I’m always happy to see more Nero Wolfe fans out there 🙂

To answer your question, I think you’d call what I did broiling. My oven has an element in the top, which you can operate separately to the main part of the oven. I put the tray fairly close to the element to cook the fish. So it’s top-down heat, rather than bottom-up heat like a BBQ. Hope this helps!

2. gs - March 2, 2010

Broiling, exactly! Thank you.

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