"It takes a special touch to make this dish and it's usually the head of the household who prepares brudet in Croatia. You will need to use at least three different types of fish. Reef and rock fish with white flesh are the best. This dish is serious business and it takes time to master. This is a good recipe that really works – in my opinion, it works wonders. I hope you enjoy it. Dobar tek!" ~ Ino Kuvacic.
1.5 kg fish (such as eel, monkfish, rockling, rock flathead, snapper, cod or whiting)
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Juice of 1/2 - lemon
1 large brown onion, chopped
50 ml tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
100 ml white wine
500 ml fish stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Soft polenta, to serve (optional)
Cut the whole fish, including skin and bones, into cutlets. Marinate the fish in half the olive oil, half the garlic, the parsley and lemon juice for a few hours.
In a large, heavy-based pan, or clay pot, set over high heat, sauté the remaining garlic in the remaining olive oil, adding the onion after a few
seconds so the garlic doesn’t burn. When the onion starts to brown slightly, add the passata and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it loses its acidity, about 5 minutes.
Season each piece of fish well with salt and pepper. Place the fish in the pan and mix well, adding just enough fish stock to cover the fish. Boil rapidly over high heat. Do not stir, but rather shake the pan carefully to avoid breaking the fish and cook for 20 minutes. Take the brudet off the stove and serve with soft polenta, if desired.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Dalmatia by Ino Kuvacic published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $50 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: ©Chris Middleton & Ino Kuvacic