Serving
(click to enlarge)

Fish in Wine Sauce
Bulgaria
  -   Riba Plakija
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
5 main.  
***
1-3/4 hr  
Yes

A delicious Bulgarian fish stew that may be served warm or cold. Traditionally it is finished in the oven. Our method does it all on the stovetop with notes on how to do it the traditional way if desired (see Note-4). In Bulgaria this is often served cold, but I like it hot with rice or pasta.


1-1/2
1
2
1/2
1-1/2
------
5
8
1-1/4
2
------
1/2
1/2
2
1
2/3
1/3
------
1/4
1-1/2
#
T
t
t
#
---
oz
oz
#
cl
---
c
t
T

t
t
---
c
T
Fish Fillet (1)
Oil
Flour
Paprika, hot
Tomatoes
-- Vegetables
Carrots
Celery Root (2)  
Onion
Garlic
-- Sauce
Wine, dry white
Sugar
Tomato Paste
Bay Leaf
Salt
Pepper
----------
Oil (3)
Lemon Juice
Prep   -   (45 min)
  1. Cut FISH FILLETS into fairly large chunks, perhaps 1-1/2 inches on a side.
  2. Make a slurry from Oil, Flour and Paprika. Tumble with the fish until well coated. Set aside until needed.
  3. Scald TOMATOES in boiling water 1 minute, quench in cold water, peel and dice medium or slice medium depending on method (see Note-4).
  4. Slice CARROTS about 1/3 inch thick. Peel CELERY ROOT, slice about 1/4 inch thick and cut into short 1/4 inch strips. Quarter ONION lengthwise and slice crosswise fairly thin. Peel GARLIC and crush very lightly. Mix all.
  5. Mix all Sauce items.
  6. Squeeze LEMON for juice - or slice Lemon (see Note-4).
RUN   -   (50 min stovetop, 1-1/4 hr oven)
  1. In a sauté pan sufficient for the whole recipe, heat Oil and fry Vegetable mix, stirring often over moderate heat until Onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in Tomatoes (if cooking on stovetop), then Sauce Mix until well blended. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in Lemon Juice, then gently embed Fish into the Vegetables so the pieces are covered or mostly covered. Bring back to a simmer and simmer covered until fish is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  4. Serve hot or cold.
NOTES:
  1. Fish:   The pattern recipe suggested perch or cod, but any light or moderate flavored fish that holds together reasonably well with wet cooking can be used. The photo example was made with Tilapia, since that's what was on hand. A little tender, but workable.
  2. Celery Root:   These are readily available in produce markets today. Choose small ones with lots of stems. Larger ones, and ones with just one thick stem tend to be fibrous. For details see our Celery Root page.
  3. Oil:   The pattern recipe called for 1/2 cup of Oil. I considered this excessive for modern times and tastes and cut it in half.
  4. Method:   The pattern recipe presumes finishing this dish in a casserole in a preheated 350°F/175°C oven for 30 minutes with fish between two layers of vegetables and slices of tomato and lemon on top. This is a fine presentation for a sit-down dinner, but less practical when preparing 1-1/2 or 2 recipes for buffet service, especially here in sunny Southern California where we don't fire up an oven unless we really need to. We have written this recipe so you can easily adjust it to the traditional oven method if desired.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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