Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eschovished Fish

I have to admit, I had no idea what does the word "eschovished" mean. I was looking for additional fish recipe to complete the Latin American dinner party menu and I found a recipe in a Carribean cooking book, liked how it looked and decided to try it. Later when I checked the meaning, I found that it actually refers to a particular way of marinading and cooking the fish, which is popular across the Caribbean islands, particularly in Jamaica.

I started preparing the recipe something about half an hour before the guests came so I adopted a "fast-version" of the recipe, which practically means that I skipped the marinading part. I also used a bit less vinegar than required, because honestly I was a bit afraid to use too much. But people liked it and so did I, which makes it... a success!


1 kg cod fillet
juice of half lemon
flour, for dusting
oil, for frying

For the sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion sliced
1/2 red and 1/2 green pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup malt vinegar (I used white vinegar instead)
5 tbsp water
8-10 grains allspice
2 bay leafs
1 dry hot chilly pepper, whole
2 tbsp brown sugar
salt and ground black pepper to taste
parsley, chopped, for garnishing

1. If you decide to marinade the fish in advance, just sprinkle it with salt and pepper, place it in a shallow dish and pour over the lemon juice. Marinade for one hour. As I said, I skipped the marinading part.
2. Cut the fish in pieces and dust with some flower.
3. Heat some oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the fish until it is golden brown. Wile frying the pieces should not "overlap" so it may take a couple of rounds until all the fish is fried. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. Make the sauce. In the same pan where you fried the fish add 5 tbsp of oil. Fry the onions until soft. Add pepper and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more.
5. Pour in the vinegar, water and all the spices and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Mix the fish with the sauce and serve garnished with some chopped parsley.

At this point some of the original recipes that I found online require leaving the fish to absorb the flavors for a couple of hours. Since I didn't have the luxury of time I skipped this step too. It was still very tasty but I think next time I will try to prepare it well in advance, follow all the steps and see what is the difference.

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