Inspiring you to make healthy food and choices one step at a time

February 15, 2010

Chef Cristina's Hake and Tomato Relish

If you ask me, there is no better way of sharing or showing L-O-V-E than through cooking. When one takes the time to buy fresh ingredients, to carefully prepare them, to decide whether to cut, mince, saute, broil, bake, or poach... there is nothing more genuine than THAT.

Love is something that throughout history men and women have tried to define, to capture its essence. Even when Jesus was asked what was the absolute commandment, He said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37) He then added the second most important law, "You shall LOVE your neighbor as YOURSELF." Jesus said that the entire law was dependent upon these two commandments.

Let's take something as simple as family dinners and really think about it; no matter what was the situation when you were growing up whether your mom cooked once a week on Sundays, maybe she ordered food or if you were lucky enough that she cooked every night - you felt the love through food. Nowadays people do not want to cook; they fear the mess or the fire, the feeling of the texture of the fish, or the cleaning part, you name it. I have heard endless excuses of men and women about how they love to eat but hate the act of cooking itself.

In my humble opinion, we as a society (even a cyber one), need to take the LOVE back into our kitchens.

This time around I bring you a great recipe full of love and easy to make!

Pan-Fried Hake and Tomato Relish

For some reason over the years Hake has been trivialized. I personally love Hake; it's extremely easy to prepare, it's abundant, it's remarkably versatile and it's simply delicious! (There are close to a dozen species of hake; most of which are named depending on the color of their skin: red, white, silver, etc.)

Serves 4:

4 Hake fillets (about 6 oz.)
9 oz. small plum tomatoes (quartered)
1 bunch scallions (chopped)
3 tbsp. olive oil (plus extra drizzle)
1 tsp. superfine sugar
Splash white vinegar
Few thyme sprigs (leaves only)
Small handful of cilantro leaves (chopped)
Kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)

Check the Hake fillets for any pin bones (if any, remove with a pair of tweezers). Season the fish with salt and pepper. Put 2 tbsp. of olive oil in pan and lay the fillets on top, skin side down.

Slowly warm the pan over LOW heat, then increase the heat to medium after a minute or two. Pan fry until the skin is golden and crisp, and the fillets are cooked halfway.

Turn the fish over and cook the flesh side for another 60 seconds only. Transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain. (Keep warm)

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the pan and saute the tomatoes and scallions for a minute. Add the sugar and splash of vinegar. Cook over high heat for a minute or two (until the vinegar has cooked off and the tomatoes are a little soft.)

Season the tomatoes well, toss in the herbs and divide among 4 plates.

Place the Hake fillets skin side up on top and serve.

For more information on Hake and fish available to substitute to here.

We are so thankful to Chef Cristina for giving us her time and passion for cooking and family. Set aside 15 minutes to create and enjoy...

This is linked to Tasty Tuesday.


Alison said...

I TOTALLY agree that people don't want to share the love through food anymore. It's really sad! I LOVE cooking for others and I know it means a lot to them because I've seen the reactions of people when they realize I've actually spent time cooking for them. I cooked my husband a birthday dinner tonight (Chinese!) and he was thrilled (as per usual) about the time it took and the love put into it. :)

Laurie said...

Birthdays are always so fun! And a great way to show love with a home cooked meal. Did you really eat all that food? Just the two of you? :)

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