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Monday, September 25, 2023

The best way to bake fish with fresh green chile chutney

By Adeline Haggins

 Special to CSMS MagazineBeginning this month, Adeline Haggins will share some insights with our readers about her famous secrets for delicious recipes. We hope that will satisfy many of our readers, who have been asking for a rubric about cooking.  In this article, she shares her secret weapon with us about baked goan fish with fresh green chile chutney.To begin with, there are several things one needs to put together. They are as follow:  1 3/4-2-pound firm-fleshed fish, such as pickerel, trout, or red snapper, cleaned and scaled.About ¼ cup vegetable oilAbout 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juiceAbout 1 tablespoon fine sea saltAbout ¼ cup Fresh Green Chile Chutney (recipe follows),Plus extra to serve as condiment

The best way to put it together

 Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 °F. Wash and dry the fish. Cut a slit along each side of the backbone down the length of the fish. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet (or in a large roasting pan). Pour about 3 tablespoons oil on the part of the sheet where it will lie, and set near your work surface.            Rub the fish all over with the lime or lemon juice, then with salt. Stuff some of the chutney into slits and put the remainder in the fish’s cavity. Lay the fish on the foil. Pour on the remainder 1-tablespoon oil and spread it over the top of the fish. Wrap the foil fairly tightly around the fish; use another piece of foil if necessary to ensure that the package is well sealed.            Bake for about 30 minutes; time will depend on the size and thickness of the fish. To test, peel back the foil a little and press on the flesh at the thickest part of the fish. It should yield a little and press on the flesh at the texture of the flesh: If the flesh flakes with a fork, it is cooked.            Serve the fish warm or at room temperature, with extra chutney alongside as a condiment. Serve by lifting sections of the top fillet off the bone; when the first side is finished, flip the fish over to serve the second fillet.            To serve the fish warm, open the foil and let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer the fish to a platter (flip if off the foil). Pour the pan juices into a small jug, so they can be drizzled onto each serving. Alternatively, let the cool to room temperature with the foil open, then wrap tightly in the foil and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours. When it is chilled, the pan juices around the fish thicken to jelly, beautiful bright green in color and with a wonderful flavor blend; the fish is firm and holds its shape well. Bring back just to room temperature before serving.More on fresh green chile chutneyMakes A Generous 1 CupAbout 2 cups coriander leaves and stems6 green cayenne chiles, coarsely chopped6 to 10 medium garlic cloves, chopped 2 teaspoons minced ginger or ginger mashed to a pasteAbout 1 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut1-teaspoon cumin seedsAbout 3 teaspoon fresh lime juice, or substitute lemon juice1 teaspoon salt, or to tastePlace the coriander, chiles, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and process to a paste. Add the coconut and process to incorporate. Transfer to a bowl.            Briefly grind the cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle or a spice/coffee grinder, not to a powder but to crush them a little, then add to the chile mixture. Stir in the lime (or lemon) juice, sugar, salt, then taste for salt and adjust as necessary. Serve or use immediately, or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. The chutney will keep for about 4 days in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator.NoteAdeline Haggins lives and works in Orlando, Florida. She teaches Home Economic at a high school there. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.  Also see Meals That Heal

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