Many years ago, Neapolitan fishermen used huge acetylene fueled lights to attract the catch during nighttime fishing. The lamps would produce heat, and the fishermen would cook fish on the flat, wide rims of the lamps. They would bring a cup of fresh Mediterranean salt water to a heavy boil and then add tomatoes, olive oil, chile, garlic, and unmarketable fish. Here is the modern recipe that is almost the same and just as tasty. Be sure your tomatoes are very ripe, or else use the canned tomato substitution, but do not overcook the tomatoes. The sauce should be light orange, just not a bright red.
- Two one pound red snappers or striped bass
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- One cup water
- One small dried hot red chile pepper
- Two garlic cloves, crushed
- Two ripe plum tomatoes
- Two tablespoons parsley
- Fresh sea salt to taste
Crush the garlic cloves and peel the tomatoes. Remove the seeds and dice. Mince the parsley. Clean the fish and wash out well, then dry. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile pepper and cook until the garlic just colors, about one minute. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the garlic. Add the fish and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for three minutes, stirring the tomatoes around the fish. Pour in the water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, basting occasionally with the cooking liquid, until the fish is just opaque throughout when prodded with a fork, about fifteen minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley. Transfer the fish to a warmed serving platter. At the table, remove the tail, head, and the top two fillets as well as the central spine. Drizzle with olive oil and serve right away. Serves four. Olive oil is excellent with many other seafood recipes. If you are looking for the perfect olive oil and the right olive oil cruet for making your seafood recipes, they can be found at cruets.com for easy purchasing. We also have many other gourmet recipes to share.