Fish, Fish, and more Fish with a Smattering of Cherry

I love to experiment with all of the wonderful fresh fish we can get here in Israel. And the other day, they had some small fish at the fish monger in the supermarket. I don’t usually buy fresh fish there, but this looked especially fresh. I have been buying my fish from Dubkin Brother’s located at Moshav Tekuma near the border with Gaza. They sell their fish to restaurants and come up to the center of the country every two weeks to make deliveries to individuals. They are lovely people, have good prices,  and most importantly their fish is a high quality and very fresh. The fish comes packed in ice in a Styrofoam cooler that they take back with the next delivery. So far I have ordered baramundi, sea bass, gilt-head sea bream, and red mullet.

The best way to cook it is to not do too much to it.  Most of the time I saute it in a pan or grill it under the oven, depending the type of fish. If I saute it, I slice garlic thinly and place it in a hot pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add the fish, and then add the juice of two large lemons and a couple of tablespoons of chopped thyme, fresh zaatar, oregano, or chives. If I grill it, such as trout, then I stuff the cavity with rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon slices, and sliced garlic and grill in the oven.

I bought small red mullet and another fish that I have never heard of and don’t know the name in English, but they were both wonderful. I just lightly coated them in flour and cooked them in a shallow pan of oil for about two to three minutes on each side. I served them with basil-garlic red potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Mr BT made red mullet with a mango sauce. He sauteed the fish in a little butter and olive oil. He added mango juice, white wine and a splash of balsamic vinegar, removed the fish and reduced the sauce. He has also made drumfish with a sour cream and herb sauce. You could also make it with yogurt. Skies the limit.

For one of the meals, I used the last of the cherries that we picked at the cherry festival. I had frozen them and they were perfect for a nice fruit crisp. It brought back childhood memories when my mother used to make a delicious apple crisp. She didn’t make the topping with oatmeal, but this recipe is British fruit crisp. The crisp was delicious and the cherries didn’t need any additional sugar.

Fresh Sour Cherry Crisp

Serving Size: 6 to 8

4 cups pitted sour cherries

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

100g (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Butter medium size baking dish, approximately 22 x 32 cm (9 x 13 inches).

In a medium bowl, mix the cherries and the flour. Evenly distribute the cherries in the baking dish.

Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and melted butter. Crumble evenly over the cherry mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2009/08/01/fish-fish-and-more-fish-with-a-smattering-of-cherry/

Za’atar – A Biblical Plant

Za'atar mixture of sesame seeds, sumac and salt

Za’atar which is called hyssop in English is used to make tea, mixed with sesame seeds, sumac and salt and slathered with olive oil on bread, put on top of labane and in my case it is mixed with matzah meal as a coating for red mullet.

Moses Maimonides, a philosopher, rabbi and physician who lived in North Africa and Egypt, prescribed za’atar as an antiseptic, a cure for intestinal parasites, a cold remedy, loss of appetite and flatulence. Rubbing the sides of the head with za’atar oil was believed to reduce headaches. There is also a belief that this particular spice mixture makes the mind alert and the body strong.

I like za’atar so much, I am growing it in my new garden. It is also great chopped up and mixed into an omelet or a salad.

Red Mullet with Za'atar Crust

Serving Size: 2

350g (3/4lb) small or 4 medium red mullet filets

2 cups matza meal

2 to 3 tablespoons za'atar mix

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

In a plate, mix the matza meal, za'atar mix, salt and peper. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and water.

Place the fish in the egg mixture and mix until the fish is thoroughly coated and then dip in the matza meal mixture until well coated. Cook the fish in about 25mm (1 inch) of hot oil for approximately two to three minutes on each side or until flaky. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2008/03/29/zaatar-a-biblical-plant/

Here are some beautiful flowers on the way to our village:

These are called bottle brushes because they look like a bottle brush.

These flowers are Anemones in English and Kalanit in Hebrew, which is related to Kala, the Hebrew word for a bride, referring to the flower’s beauty. It is mentioned in the Talmudic scriptures and is referred to as Klonita.

The scientific and English name was derived from the Greek mythological word Anemoi, the wind gods. One of whom, the legendary Zephyrus was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes. In ancient Greece, wreaths of anemones were used to decorate the altar of the Goddess Venus. Hence, the species name Coronaria.

In Arabic it is called Skaik-a-Na’amann, probably referring to a Canaanite god by that name, and mentioned also as a flower name by the Prophet Isaiah (17:10) “Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants” (In Hebrew “pleasant plants” is Nitei Naamanim).

During the Middle Ages, a wreath of anemone flowers was put on a sick person’s neck because it was believed to help cure him.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish – Red Mullet

Friday night we decided to have fish, so I made my take on Fish and Chips.

I use all types of fish filets for shallow frying, such as cod, halibut and flounder. On Friday, I used red mullet, or barbounia as it is called in Hebrew. We had the following:

Cocktail hour: Mango-Pineapple Caipirinha

Red Mullet with a Panko-Sesame, Oregano and Parsley Crust

Crushed Potatoes with Chives, Garlic, and Yogurt

Green peas

Heilbronner Stiftsberg Riesling 2005

Leftover Quince Tart

Red Mullet with a Panko-Sesame, Oregano and Parsley Crust

Serving Size: 2

350g (3/4lb) small or 4 medium red mullet filets

2 cups panko crumbs

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

1 tablespoon fresh oregano or thyme

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 egg

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon water

Panko Crumbs

In a plate, mix the panko crumbs, sesame seeds, parsley, oregano and thyme. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, yogurt and water.

Ready for Frying

Place the fish in the egg mixture and mix until the fish is thoroughly coated and then dip in the panko mixture until well coated. Cook the fish in about 25mm (1 inch) of hot oil for approximately two to three minutes on each side or until flaky. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/09/29/one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-red-mullet/

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