Baked Basque Fish

How to make a Baked Basque Fish.

The Basque Country of northern Spain is home to more than twenty Michelin-starred restaurants located mainly in the cities of SanSebastian and Bilbao. This is one of the world’s great food destinations. The region has an interesting history of private gastronomic societies known as ‘Txokos’ which date back to the late 19th century. These are traditionally male-only institutions where members would cook for one another and socialize. Txokos have had an important influence on modern Basque cuisine as they have been responsible for preserving traditional local dishes and creating many new ones.
Basque cuisine is strongly influenced by the region’s geography with the coastline best known for its seafood dishes and the mountainous interior for its meat, vegetables and legumes. Traditional seafood dishes include a salt cod stew called ‘Bacalao a la Vizcaina’ and a tuna fish stew called ‘Marmitako’.
Our baked Basque fish recipe below is a simple introduction to the region’s cuisine which includes any white fish combined with onions, green peppers, tomato and a dry white wine such as Txakoli.

Ingredients: Serves 4

4 x 175g of white fish fillets – you could use cod, haddock or any other white fish
some olive oil
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
8 tablespoons of dry white wine
juice of ½ a lemon
freshly ground black pepper
You also need four pieces of foil, 30cm by 30 cm

Cooking Method:

Lightly brush each foil square with olive oil to prevent the fish sticking to it and place a piece of fish on each square.

Mix together the green pepper, onion, garlic and tomato and divide them equally to cover the fish.

On top of each pile of vegetables place ½ a bay leaf, add 2 tablespoons of white wine and some lemon juice.

Season well with salt and pepper then fold the edges of the foil together to make four slightly baggy parcels.

Put the parcels on to a baking tray and cook them in a preheated oven, 190C/375F or gas mark 5 for about 30 minutes.

You could check one parcel after 20 or 25 minutes.

You will know the fish is cooked when the flesh is opaque and flakes easily.

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