Spicy Adriatic Fish

I had someone who wanted to read this recipe, so I made it and took a picture:

Spicy Adriatic Fish (1)

I wish it was a bit clearer.

I stumbled across a recipe very close to this one, played with it and it has been a big hit for me. Depending on the fish you use, it tastes barely fish-like to almost no discernible fish taste…just good.

I made this for my late grandmother–in-law about 25 years ago. Her people were from the Adriatic, from Croatia. She had been living in California near her daughter’s family. The son-in-law’s people had been a long line of Portuguese fishermen, and she asked me to give her the recipe. I was so pleased, as she was a fantastic cook. I don’t know if she ever made the fish dish, but my father-in-law recently send a box of the recipes she kept, and there was my recipe for this fish, right on top. I was quite touched.

Spicy Adriatic Fish

1 lb of whitefish filets, (whiting, perch or cod, preferably)
2 Tbsp oil, (basic olive, preferably)
½ cup of onion, minced
1 ½ Tbsp paprika
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced, (or 2 tsp prepared garlic)
3 Tbsp. Tomato paste ( tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes do not add the ‘zing’ you are looking for here
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. vinegar ;Balsamic,( preferably), apple cider, white or rice vinegar,(do not use flavored or fruited ones)
OR lemon juice
1 ½ cups prepared rice, small pasta or couscous

Thaw and dry the fish, (see previous post). Place oil in a non-stick skillet; heat. Add the onions, paprika and salt; when the onions are translucent, add the garlic and the fish, upside down. Fry until the fish tops are browned, then turn gently and barely cook on the other side.(Time will depend on the thickness of your fish). Remove from the pan gently onto a plate. [*see note] Add the bay leaf, lemon juice or vinegar ,the tomato paste and water. Simmer for a few minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced in amount. Return the fish to the pan right-side-up and baste it with the sauce. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes. Remove the fish again, as well as the bay leaf. Add the prepared rice, pasta or couscous to the sauce and warm them together thoroughly. Serve alongside of fish or with fish on top.

[* NOTE: If at any time your fish breaks up, don’t worry! It will still taste fine; after all, you are going to cut it up anyway! My family has eaten it all mixed together on more than one occasion, trust me!]

I hope you try and enjoy!


16 thoughts on “Spicy Adriatic Fish

  1. jehanne@thecookingdoctor

    I must try out this recipe, Tonette, I love dishes with tradition and yours just fit the bill! I hardly have much fish recipes, so this is a novelty to me. Thank you also for popping by and leaving your lovely comments, hope to get your visits often:-)

    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      Thank you,Jehanne; I am enthralled with your life! I will be back.
      I post easy, basic but mostly homemade foods and leave my fancy work behind to teach.I found far too many people here never learned to cook and are afraid to entertain.
      I will be posting fish and seafood for a while.I am so glad you get something out of my blog.

    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      Tamara, I even use balsamic in my cole slaw at times and although it is dark,I get compliments. White ‘balsamic’ is a good alternative as well. True Balsamic adds another dimension. Thanks for coming in!

    1. Tonette Joyce Post author

      Ashley, this recipe, made with cod,(and done with a pre-soak in lemon-water; see previous post), will have no ‘fish’ taste at all. I hope you try it.Let me know! Thank you for dropping in and checking it out!.

  2. Tonette Joyce

    Thanks for coming in ,Judy! I have been neglectful of the blog,(being UN-neglectful of family; it’s always something!)
    I am glad; I seem to have a lot of non-seafood people coming by.
    I am still on the seafood crusade, so I hope I have something more here that piques your interest.
    Cod; my ‘go-to’ fish!


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