Shortly after our aliyah, I had a nasty encounter with an unpalatable Nile Perch, and the residual trauma remained.
Although I'm assured there is far more to local fish than this aggressive ocean invader, I insist on playing it safe, and remain loyal to faithful salmon, and always dependable South African hake.
Hake - a close relation to clean-tasting cod or pollock - is packaged under the 'Sun Fish' brand, but the delivery boxes show it comes directly from well known fish suppliers I&J in South Africa.
Unlike its competition, it contains 100% fish, which means that it isn't soggy when defrosted.
It can be baked in the oven with a sauce or simple seasoning, fried in a batter to produce English pub results, and is amazingly economical.
Dress up this every-day essential with this simply delicious pecan crumb topping and elevate it to star status!
800 grams hake, cut into individual servings
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice
3 (45 ml) tablespoons butter
3 (45 ml) tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) dried dill OR tarragon (see notes)
1 cup (250 ml) fresh, white breadcrumbs OR Panko
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped pecan nuts
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt
1: Mix coating ingredients together, place fish flat in a baking dish, and brush with coating mixture.
2: Turn pieces over, brush the other side to coat and set remaining coating mixture aside, and then season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
3: Mix crumb ingredients together, add remaining coating mixture to moisten, and scatter evenly over fish.
4: Bake open in a in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 to 30 minutes till the topping is golden-brown and the fish is cooked through.