Orata Fish and Potatoes Casserole

Cooking in Italy was an experience of its own. (Read more about our trip here) We had a local chef come and cook authentic Italian food for us. During our stay, we tried different kinds of fish that we had never tasted and got to experience different ways of cooking them.

One of the fish we tried was fried anchovies. They were tiny little fish, that you just coat in flour and fry them in oil. They are crunchy and delicious. I made a dressing, by mixing mayonnaise, lemon juice, spices, and some sliced preserved truffles which is a rare delicacy that I bought in Positano. Truffles is a very expensive type of mushroom, that adds a very unique flavor to foods. I dipped the anchovies in it, and it really enhanced the flavors.

We also tried this recipe, which is made of a fish that is called Orata in Italy. It is similar to red snapper, or other white fleshed fish here in America. You can try it with any firm fleshes white fish, whole or filleted. We bought a whole fish, and the chef cooked it according to the following instructions. He then deboned it and removed the skin after it was cooked, and it was soft and easy to do. You can also use filleted fish, so you don't have to go through the bother. The dish was very light and wholesome, and I enjoyed the notes of lemon and parsley in there. We bought another vegetable that he called broccoli, although it looked very different than the broccoli here, it was more like a leafy vegetable, like spinach. He sauteed it in oil, garlic, salt and pepper. It was quite tasty, a bit bitter, but it was nice as a side to the fish dish.

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Here are the ingredients:

Orata fish- a small whole fish or fillet of flounder, sole, tilapia, or snapper
White small potatoes
Fresh lemon juiced
Flour - for coating fish
Olive oil (or regular oil)
2 onions
Sea salt (or regular salt)

Cooking Instructions:

Put whole potatoes in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile slice the onions and put in a pot with some oil at the bottom. Saute a few minutes until softened. Coat the fish in flour and add to the pot. Sprinkle some sea salt on top. Saute for a few minutes, until golden, and then turn over and saute another few minutes. After the potatoes have cooked 10 minutes, drain the pot and rinse with cold water. Peel the potatoes, with a knife, the skin should come off easily. Slice them into circles and add them to the fish in the pot. Drizzle the juice of one lemon over the potatoes and fish. Sprinkle the parsley and pepper and cover the pot. Lower the flame and cook for another 10 minutes. Take out the fish and remove skin and bones if it is a whole fish. Then flake the fish with a fork into bite size pieces. Put the fish back in the pot and reheat.

Read my other blogs for more recipes on our trip to Positano, and about details of our stay in the Amalfi Coast.