All in one, nutritious and delicious seafood
For a good portion of my life, I didn’t care much for seafood. There are several reasons, but I won’t bore you with them. As time went on, I became more and more knowledgeable about seafood and it found its way more often into my diet. My mother was always a big fan of seafood and kept after me to be more adventurous, gotta love motherhood. Now seafood is my first choice for a great meal. She would be so proud of her 6-foot-5 baby boy.
While I was in culinary school, we learned a great deal about seafood and while in Italy, I worked in Florence’s premier seafood restaurant. The Italians are wild about seafood. However, most of what they love over there could not be sold in restaurants here. That’s partly because we just could not get the ingredients and partly because the standard American palate would not care for those dishes.
One such dish was Witches Hair, angel hair pasta in a garlic sauce with sautéed cuttle fish, a type of squid. At the finish, the chef adds cuttle fish ink which is very, very black and makes the whole dish quite black, thus Witches Hair. We studied this dish in culinary school and when my wife arrived in Florence to join me, I took her up to Venice for a weekend. We had dinner on the edge of the Grand Canal and, since Witches Hair was on the menu, we ordered it for her and she just loved it.
Imagine sitting at the edge of the Grand Canal with Gondolas going by and enjoying this great plate of jet black squid. Life doesn’t get any better than that.
Unfortunately, we are not going to Florence or Venice anytime soon, but we can enjoy some great seafood at home. Here’s a foolproof roasted seafood dish that you’re going to love.
Roasted Seafood with Potatoes and Olives
12 oz fresh cod, halibut or other white fleshed fish
Salt and pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
12 black olives (optional)
If you don’t care for olives, try some broccoli flowerets
1 large potato
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice (lime is good too)
¼ cup white wine
2 Tbl water
Preheat oven to 450.
Peel and then slice your potato, 1/2-inch thick. Drop your potato slices into a boiling pot of slightly salted water. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until not quite done, drain.
Season fish with salt and pepper. In a bowl combine evoo, garlic, bay leaf, lemon juice, wine and water.
Place still-warm potatoes into the bottom of a lightly-buttered baking dish and place seasoned fish on top. Sprinkle olives or broccoli on the sides of the fish and pour the evoo wine mixture over the top of the fish.
Bake for no more than 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
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