A supremely simple dish from our current fish under exploration, Palometa, served up in a love apple sauce… you know love apples, those spherical or ovoid things bursting with flavor… what do we call them these days? Oh yes, tomatoes.
Fillets of palometa, cleaned and boned; ripe tomatoes, an onion, a bay leaf, a garlic clove, a good splash of white wine, olive oil, salt and sugar. Nada mas.
Lightly salt the palometa fillets and then saute briefly in the olive oil. When just starting to color on both sides, remove and set aside.
In the same oil saute the chopped onions and garlic until they’re just starting to brown.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, make sure to get all those nice crispy bits scraped off the pan and mixed in.
Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, and a little more salt and just a small spoonful of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes until the tomatoes are falling apart. Optionally, you could skin the tomatoes for a smoother sauce.
Add the fillets into the sauce and cook for five minutes, turning them to make sure they’re well coated with the sauce and cooked through.
Serve a fillet or two per person, topped with the sauce, boiled or mashed potatoes on the side.
Surprisingly delicious. I was expecting it to be a bit bland with so little in the way of additions to the tomatoes, but browning the onions and garlic add a nice depth of flavor and there’s a good balance from the salt, sugar, and wine. Sure, if I was making it again I’d probably add some freshly ground pepper and maybe even a small chili, but I didn’t really miss either. We had a nice lunch and then used what was leftover, broken up a bit, as a pasta sauce for dinner (with that pepper and chili added in).
Many of the other classic local recipes I’m finding for palometa and other local fish are pretty much the same as those that I made using the pejerrey, so unless I encounter something particularly interesting, I’m going to start looking at some more modern twists on local fish recipes by some of the rising star and established chefs in town, and maybe even straying a bit to surrounding countries that share the same allotment of seafood.