Tuesday 4 November 2008

NaBloPoMo #4 - Lates Niloticus and Barack Obama

Lily's Kitchen

Since it’s topical and because I’m the sweetest, most thoughtful and sensitive person I know, I’ve decided to give Barack O a taste of Kenya to sustain him through what will be a pretty exhausting day and - of course - to remind him of his roots. Fish is brain food – or so I’ve been told – and Mr O is going to have to have his wits about him.

The Nile perch is also called the Lake Victoria perch. However it is not a true perch… nor did it ever live in the Nile. (Lake Victoria is the second largest natural lake in the world and its rich harvest is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania) This particular piscis has the highest omega-3 content of any fish and has a lovely firm, flaky texture and a light, delicate flavour. And to add to the list of Good Things About Nile Perch, it has very few bones, so it makes an excellent choice for Mums who struggle to get their children to eat anything other than chicken nuggets.

It can be grilled, fried, poached, sautéed, braised, roasted, steamed or served as kebabs or even sashimi. Because Nile perch has a low water content, it's best to marinate the fillets for a while before grilling or barbecuing them.

But for Mr. O - I think a very speedy ‘bouillabaisse’ would be just the ticket.

In a casserole dish or Dutch oven, bring 500 ml (2 cups) water and 65 ml (1/4 cup) fish stock to a boil.
Add vegetables (diced carrot, leek, zucchini, red onion) to this liquid.

Five minutes before the vegetables are cooked, add the perch fillets and cook for 5 minutes.

Drain; place everything on a big serving plate with a bowl of aioli.

8 garlic cloves
half tsp sea salt
half tsp freshly ground black pepper
150ml (3/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 egg yolks
1-2 tbsp lemon juice

In a pestle and mortar, pound together the garlic, salt and pepper until smooth, adding a little olive oil from time to time to moisten the mixture.

Once the mixture has formed a smooth paste, add the egg yolks and pound again until they are completely mixed into the garlic.

Slowly add the remaining olive oil, as if making mayonnaise, until it’s all thick and smooth.

Beat in the lemon juice to taste, plop it into a pretty bowl and serve with the fish.

On second thoughts, better to leave off the aioli for Mr. O. He certainly won’t want garlicky breath at this stage of the game. And if you don’t want garlicky breath either, serve the fish with a swirl of crème fraich or sour cream.


Melo said...

Wow, the egg in it I could skip. It's eaten raw, huh? I have a mental problem with raw eggs.

LOVE garlic, though! And I love the artwork I see in your blog!

soulbrush said...

mr o will love this post...and the delicious recipe too.