I normally don’t write a great deal on an empty stomach. I am required to fast today but felt inclined to share this hake recipe with you anyways. Otherwise I would have remained bedridden. As some of you know, the holiday of Purim falls out on Saturday night this year. For those of you who are celebrating Purim like I am, we are obligated to fast the day before as Queen Esther did for 3 days before she sought the mercy of her people from King Achashverosh who were at the threat of annihilation as decreed by his evil advisor, Haman. The purpose of the holiday and the fast is to remind us of God’s hand in this miracle. Purim and Yom Kippur are similar in several ways. We fast and pray all day to repent for our sins and then we conclude it with a celebration. Just as we are judged and have our fates sealed on Yom Kippur, we were threatened with extinction by Haman due to our sins and were miraculously saved through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We cal also learn to appreciate the little miracles we have in life. Btw, Saint Patricks Day falls around the same time as Purim. I have a special recipe that I hope to share with you tomorrow for that occasion. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this Greek style hake recipe in which I am about to share with you.
I only remember my mother serving hake for supper once. Ever since then, it has slipped off the radar till recently. I also happen to have not shared a fish recipe with you in a long time. My local supermarket was selling fresh hake so I took the liberty of buying 2 lbs of hake fillets. Like cod, hake is mild in flavor but meaty in texture. Akin to white fish, hake is also a versatile fish to cook with, as one type can easily be swapped for another in a recipe. I used hake stood up to the robust Mediterranean flavors in the chili sauce. Fish happens to be symbolic for Purim. Why not have fish on your menu for your upcoming Purim meal? It’s definitely a lighter alternative to meat and pairs well with any dairy side dish Serve this fish with bulgur, whole grain rice, or steamed vegetables.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 lbs of hake fillets
- Juice of one large lemon
- 2 onions chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 small chili peppers minced
- 1/8 teaspoon of brown sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine or champagne
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper for taste
Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Place fish in a greased baking dish. Pour lemon juice over the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and let it refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour as you prepare the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until they have softened and begun to color slightly. Add a pinch of salt, minced chili pepper, and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic and chili pepper is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, paprika, cinnamon, wine, half the parsley and more salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce has cooked down a bit and is very fragrant, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the fish. Sprinkle on the remaining parsley.
Place in the oven and bake until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork, about 30 minutes. Baste the fish every 10 minutes if it is not submerged in the sauce. Serve hot or warm.
Yields 4 servings