I prepared this dish today for the third time in the the last few weeks and all I am wondering is what has kept me from sharing this recipe with you earlier. Because, honestly, I count nothing but pros! * you will have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes from start to finish * most of the ingredients are most probably already in your pantry and if not, they can be purchased and stored days in advance * the recipe has only a couple of easy steps – really, there is nothing to stress about, here! After you’ve prepared it once, you will not even need your measuring cups or spoons * this is a one pan dinner therefore there will be very little mess in your kitchen * your home will not smell like fish (maybe just a tiny bit) * it is d e l i c i o u s and super super h e a l t h y !
What makes this recipe exceptional, is the addition of ouzo – a Greek alcoholic anise-flavored aperitif. Combining ouzo with fish is not something new to me. I have been adding a few drops of ouzo to many of my fish recipes, usually when I have frozen fish that lacks freshness and taste. You would be surprised how it enhances the flavor of the fish! If you do not want to to buy a large bottle of ouzo, shop for a small, 50 ml one, at your liquor store. You can also substitute ouzo with dry white wine or vodka, but the result will not be as unique.
For this recipe, I use frozen cod fillet but you can, of course, use fresh cod or even the dried and salted kind – you would have to soak it in water for a few days in advance, though – or any other type of white fish fillet such as halibut or haddock.
The recipe is prepared by monks on Mount Athos, Greece, who have very strict dietary habits but cook delicious food with only a few and simple ingredients. They eat fish only a few times a year, usually on holidays.
- 2 lbs frozen boneless and skinless cod fillet, thawed (about 900 g)
- 2 + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shot ouzo (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes (preferably fresh tomato but you can definitely use canned tomato as well))
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Salt & pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large non-stick skillet.
- Add the cod filets and sear the fish, cooking about two minutes on each side.
- Add the ouzo and let the alcohol evaporate.
- Add the tomatoes.
- Add the herbs, the sugar, salt and pepper and the remaining olive oil.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes for thicker fillets and for about 10-15 for thinner slices of fish.
- Serve with a green salad, vegetables or rice and definitely a slice of fresh bread.