So yesterday I ventured to Othaheite here in Trinidad to purchase my fresh red snapper fish for lunch and today I’m posting the recipe with photos of the delicious lunch I prepared for my family. For dessert I had a lovely, sweet persimmon fruit- it reminds me of sweet kymit (a Trini fruit, currently out of season; when it’s in season I’ll be sure to post photos).
I actually ‘borrowed’ the idea from my cousin whom I call from time to time when I want to get a different perspective. I cook 2-3 meals each day and sometimes you want to use the same methods of cooking but you just want a bit of variety in ingredients. Sometimes it’s about what you have, other times it’s about what you could think up!
I can say this, the freshness of the fish makes a huge difference in its flavor, so get the fish fresh once you can. Forget the frozen stuff you find at the supermarket. I would make just a couple of adjustments to the recipe the next time I make baked fish, so maybe you can try them and let me know how it works out? I found that having the olives and tomatoes in the sautéed vegetable mix was a bit too acidic and salty for me. So next time I think I’ll choose just one or the other. I chose to add in capers because I think it goes great with fish- it does, but again I thought with the olives the sauce was a bit too tart. Now, usually I would add a touch of cream to the sauce once it’s done, I’m trying to eat clean so I chose to forego that option this time. But I think if you had all of these ingredients the cream added at the very end would make the fish all the more tasty! I also took it upon myself to add in coriander and found that this was a great addition; the sharpness of the coriander really balances out the mild, clean flavor of the red snapper. All in all, I’d give this lunch an 8/10- not bad for something that too very little preparation and a really short cooking time!
Approximately 1-2 lbs of freshly bought fish- try red snapper, white salmon, tuna or sea bass
10-12 Greek olives cut into halves
2 large tomatoes
1 Tbsp capers
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
5 button mushrooms
1/2 pack enoki mushrooms
Juice of 1 lemon plus a few wedges to serve
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat conventional oven at 450F or convectional oven at 350F. Slice onion and garlic cloves thinly. Cut tomatoes into large chunks- about 4 quarters/tomato. Cut olives into halves and button mushrooms into quarters. Slice off the bottom of the enoki mushrooms. Heat oil in flat bottomed pan on high heat and add in the onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Lower heat to medium. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, olive and capers. When soft, remove from heat. While cooking the vegetables, cut slits into cleaned fish. Add salt, black pepper and lemon juice ensuring that they penetrate the slit fish. Pour vegetable mixture over fish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked. Serve hot.
Serving- 2 persons
Suggestions- Serve hot with green salad, roasted potatoes or brown rice pilaf.
So today I was able to go to a couple of places and get a few things done. I went to Trinidad’s main ‘member shopping store’ called Pricesmart. Basically, this store was the first ever in Trinidad and Tobago and is still largely popular. I can’t think, off the top of my head, whether there are other places like this in T&T…hmmm, I wonder?
Anyway, we went there to do some shopping- get our laundry detergent, a few vegetables that ran out and other little monthly requirements. For the Trinibagonians reading this, I’m sure you would be glad to see a couple of photos of familiar territory! I hope so anyway. I’m always happy to see my home country when I’m away!
So, after shopping there we went to this fishing village called Othaheite. It’s located in south-west Trinidad and found at the junction of the Oropouche river and the Gulf of Paria(see RED arrow on Trinidad map below courtesy caribbean-on-line.com).The water looks quite brown and muddy since the river opens out into the sea- but the abundance of fish is the trade off! I’ve been there a few times and find it quite rewarding to visit the local fishermen, hear their interesting stories and learn more about our fish. It’s really very enlightening- I learn something new every time I go there to purchase our fish.
To get to Othaheite we have to pass the ‘Mosquito Creek’ where a crematorium- open air- is located. I tried to take a few snaps, but unfortunately(or maybe fortunately) was unsuccessful.
I ended up buying two small ‘red fish/snapper’- I don’t know the proper names of the fish, just the Trini names. Among the fish I spotted some conchs/lambe. They are delicious! Almost every island that I’ve been to has a special way of preparing these little sea ‘gems’, in Trinidad we prefer them curried. I can’t say they are as popular here as they are in say Martinque, Guadeloupe, Grenada or other islands- I don’t know why!
Perhaps the only thing that I’m always bit surprised and disappointed about is the lack of proper storage. Despite these fishermen saying that they’ve caught these fish ‘just a few hours ago’, I just wonder why keeping them on ice isn’t promoted more. I guess we’re all so accustomed to purchasing fish like this that maybe it doesn’t bother us too much? But I’m always pretty careful about what I purchase and from where…I think you have to be. So it makes me want to ask you, would you purchase fish/sea food that’s not being stored on ice?