A fish bake is comfort food and brings back a whole lot of childhood memories. Its superfast, quick and easy. Ingredients easily available. Well, to me, eating smart is all about eating delicious food.
The creaminess and softness of the fish coupled with a crunchy crust makes this bake very special and for me – I just go back in time and I can only think of a whole fish bake mom used to make when we were small, stuffed with onions, tomatoes and spices, baked in a hot oven and the whole house filled with the aroma of spices. Baked to perfection, it used to be the center piece for family lunches over the weekend. My mom used to bake, now I bake, and I know for sure – my children too will follow suit. I’m happy.
Years ago I had shared a recipe of Spanish fish casserole with my sister- in- law Sobha who lives in Birmingham. She still enjoys putting the bake together and is a favourite with family and friends. Maybe later – but it’s a recipe I would love sharing with all of you.
Any white fleshy fish will do. I love cooking with salmon, red snapper, sea bass and King fish. To clean fish, I first sprinkle some rock salt, smear it all over and rinse. Then I apply a tablespoon of curd diluted in a little water and smear the fish once more, I keep it for about 5-7 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. The fish is now all ready to use. This particular bake gives you a rich indulgent feel and for this bake my choice of fish is usually red snapper or salmon. Tuna would be my next choice.
- Fish – 1/2 kg
- Macaroni -1cup
- Button mushrooms-100gms
- Onion- 2 minced
- Green chilli-2-3 minced
- Capsicum – 1 small diced
- Tomato-1 minced
- Flour-3 tbsp
- Milk-2 cups
- Chilly flakes -1 tsp
- Mustard powder-1 tsp
- Oregano -1tsp
- Cheese spread -1 tbsp
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the topping:
- Cornflakes crushed -11/2 cups
- Butter- 3 tbsp melted
Add melted butter into crushed cornflakes, mix well and keep aside.
- Cook a thick boneless fillet of fish (skin removed) in water to which salt and pepper has been added. Flake the fish.
- Boil macaroni, rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly. Add a tsp of olive oil and run fingers through. Keep covered.
- In a little butter, add minced onions and fry well.
- Add green chillies and chopped mushrooms and fry on high heat till the water dries up.
- Add capsicum and chopped tomatoes and stir well.
- Add flaked fish, macaroni and mix well. To the mixture add chilly flakes, mustard powder and oregano.
- Add flour and mix well.
- Add milk and stir till thick.
- Check for seasoning. Remove.
- Add cheese spread and fold in.
- Spread the mixture evenly in a dish, cover with cornflakes topping and bake in a moderate pre-heated oven 180deg c for 25 minutes. Serve with garlic bread.
- You could add a tbsp of minced ginger and garlic to the minced onion in case you’re anxious about the “fishy” flavour.
- In place of chopped mushrooms, you could add chopped spinach.
- Mashed potatoes could be substituted instead of crushed cornflakes.
- If you’d like to make the fish bake cheesy – you could sprinkle a mixture of cheddar cheese-1/2 cup, spring onion chopped 1/4 cup and 2-3 tbsp of butter on top of the crushed cornflakes and bake till golden brown.
- Serves 4 .
Till my next post