I’ve been recently following a food blogger in the UK– well I assume she’s from the UK from her cooking directions and ingredient names– and decided to make one of her recipes. It’s called a Mediterranean Fish Hot Pot. I was intrigued by the title because I equate “hot pot” with Asian-style fondue where you cook thin slices of meat in a simmering broth, but this was a fish stew made with vegetables, reminding me of Provençal bouillabaisse or San Francisco cioppino. Always the English major, I decided to google the definition to see if perhaps “hot pot” was unique to the UK, and I found it was:
from Collins English Dictionary: 1. ( Brit ) a baked stew or casserole made with meat or fish and covered with a layer of potatoes
Riddle solved. I wasn’t necessarily looking for low-fat, but this recipe uses very little fat; the cheese is used just to crust the sliced potatoes, so I can control how much I use. Since the blogger is in the UK, the weights and volumes are part customary, part metric, and the oven temps in Celsius; I’ve converted these to American equivalents. I’m used to the UK terms for most foods from watching Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver, but I gave the American names below. I also used a full 6 oz can of Italian tuna, and regular garlic; the recipe calls for smoked garlic and I’m not even sure where to look for it! If you want the original recipe, you can find it on her blog here.
Mediterranean Fish Hot Pot
- 1 zucchini – roughly chopped
- 1 large red onion – roughly chopped into chunky pieces
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb white fish – chopped into chunks
- 1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 6-oz can Italian tuna, drained
- Salt and pepper
- 4 large potatoes – peeled and sliced
- Grated cheese
Prep your ingredients. I kept the skins on my potatoes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Parboil the potatoes in salted water, about 10 to 15 minutes; test them around 12 minutes. They should not be fully cooked since they’ll bake a bit more in the oven.
In a large casserole, toss the onion, unpeeled garlic cloves and zucchini with olive oil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven.
Pop the garlic cloves out of their skins and chop.
Add the garlic back into the roasting pan. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, then add the fish, tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, vinegar and tuna fish. Stir to mix all ingredients.
Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes til fish is done (it should flake easily with a fork). Take the dish out of the oven and layer the sliced potatoes across the top. Sprinkle with cheese and
return to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned, about 35 minutes.
The flavor is just right; I wasn’t sure I’d like cheese and potatoes with the fish, but it was delicious! I’m definitely using more cheese next time. We’re keeping this one as it is easy to prepare and fairly foolproof!