Land-locked Armenia sits between two seas – the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Since Armenia has no access to either, she offers little or no salt water fish to her cuisine. She does, however, provide an array of freshwater fish from her lakes, rivers and streams, allowing Armenians to feast on such recipes as fish kebabs, fish plaki, fish stew, fried fish, and grilled, baked or broiled fish dishes.
|Cod with Spinach, Pine Nuts and Currants|
If you’re looking for a simple, yet elegant fish recipe to add to your Lenten menu, here is a lovely dish using any firm white fish served atop a bed of sauteed fresh spinach, with currants and pine nuts. Add lemon-roasted potatoes and broiled tomatoes for the perfect accompaniments.
White Fish with Spinach
Yield: 4 servings
½ cup currants (or raisins)
¼ to 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 Tbsp. olive oil – plus more for brushing
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1- 1lb. bag baby spinach, washed and lightly dried
4 – 6 oz. pieces white fish, such as cod, skin and bones removed
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked pepper to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Garnish with Lemon wedges
1. Place currants (or raisins) in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and soak for about 15 minutes; drain and set aside.
2. In a dry, non-stick skillet, toast the pine nuts, tossing gently, until lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Place the oven rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Preheat the broiler to high.
4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until wilted. Remove cover, add currants and pine nuts. Cook until all liquid evaporates. Season spinach with salt and pepper to taste; keep warm.
5. Brush fish with additional olive oil; squeeze a little lemon juice on each portion; lightly season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place on a lightly oiled broiling pan and broil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily.
To serve: Place a bed of spinach with pine nuts and currants on each plate; top with fish. Serve with lemon-roasted potatoes and grilled tomatoes. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Serves 4 to 6
4 Russet (baking potatoes), scrubbed, unpeeled
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped, or ½ tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Kosher salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp. pepper
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2, if desired)
Zest of one lemon
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, seasonings, lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
3. Scrub potato skins, but do not peel. Cut each potato into 8 wedges. Place cut potatoes in bowl with oil-lemon juice mixture. Toss to coat.
4. Use a large baking pan with one inch sides. Spread potatoes in a single layer. Roast, uncovered, for about 35 – 40 minutes; turn potatoes occasionally. Potatoes are done when crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.