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Lorenzo’s Pastel de Pescado

This recipe was carefully written in Lorenzo’s trained architect hand, in Spanish, into Dad’s cook book, by Lorenzo. Dad met Lorenzo somewhere in South America and in typical Dad fashion went on to remain friends with Lorenzo and his family for the rest of his life; I’m pretty sure he went to his wedding amongst many other events. In fact, when Mr. Ferdzy and I walked the Camino we went and stayed with Lorenzo and his wife Judith.

This is a simple and tasty dish, and although Lorenzo gave instructions for cooking the fish it would be an excellent way to use leftover cooked fish. Lorenzo called for white fish, but noted that salmon could also be used.

4 servings
1 hour 30 minutes including cooking the fish

Lorenzo's Spanish Fish Casserole

1 medium onion
500 grams (1 pound) firm fleshed white fish
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons white wine or wine vinegar
4 large eggs
1 cup diced stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
a little grating of fresh nutmeg
OR 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Peel and chop the onion, and put it in a small pot with the fish, bay leaves, and white wine or vinegar. Bring up to a simmer and cook, covered, for 6 to 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Let cool enough to handle.

Put a pan of water into the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl with the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and nutmeg or paprika. Remove and discard any skin and bones from the fish, and break it into small bits into the eggs. Mix well.

Butter a small, shallow baking dish generously and pour in the fish and egg mixture. Spread it out evenly. Place it in the oven, either in the pan of water or on a rack directly above it, depending on whether you have a reasonable bain marie set-up or not… yeah, I had to fudge it but it seemed to work okay. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until set and very lightly browned. Let rest for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

Last year at this time I made Garlicky Dill Vegetable Salad.

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