Basically, a garlicky fish stew, this is one of those dishes where you look at the simple list of ingredients and wonder how it could taste so good. I first saw this on Rick Stein’s Mediterranean series, when he visited the island of Corfu. He raved about enormous flavour of this simple fisherman’s dish and I’ve wanted to try it ever since.
I’ve adapted the recipe based on what I can remember seeing on the show. In my version, I have used Kipler potatoes, but another waxy variety could be used instead.
As for the fish I have used leather jackets cut in half like steaks however mostly I use thick blue-eye cod steaks. Leather jackets are a very sweet eating fish and although fiddly, they have a large backbone without having fine little bones, so was quite easy to eat. See picture below:
Any white flesh fish would be ok providing it is fairly robust in texture – snapper fillets or perch for example would just fall apart. This recipe would also work well with green prawns in their shell, just be sure not to over cook the prawns so ensure potatoes are almost cooked before adding to the pan.
500g fish (thick fillets or whole fish cut into cutlets).
1 tblspn garlic, roughly chopped
4 kipler potatoes, peeled and sliced into 2 cm rounds
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½-1 cup water
1 tblspn parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat and when hot, add the potatoes. Fry, stirring occasionally for about 5mins until the start to crisp slightly and soften.
2. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few minutes to release the flavour, be careful not to brown the garlic. You just want to release the flavour.
3. Add the pepper and salt to the pan and stir quickly and start dropping in the fish to the pan on top of the potatoes. Add 1/2 cup water.
4. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover the saucepan and cook gently for about 15-20 minutes. Basting occasionally with the juices, add additional water to the ‘sauce’ evaporates too much.
5. After 10 minutes of cooking, sprinkle over the herbs. It is important to ensure that the sauce doesn’t get too watery but you want to maintain a nice broth for the fish to cook in.
6. Turn off the heat and give a good squeeze of lemon juice. Plate up and ensure that the delicious juices are poured over the fish. Serve with a wedge of lemon and steamed greens (beans or broccolini), and if you aren’t gluten intolerant, knock yourself out soaking up the juices with loads of crusty bread !
7. Close your eyes and image you are sitting in a Taverna in the Greek Islands.