Every afternoon, Chris (the husband) asks me what we’re having for dinner. Yesterday I answered with “Grilled Angelfish with lemon pilaf and salad”. I only hope I had a camera on hand to capture his facial expression. He was shocked. “But that’s a tropical fish. People keep them in their aquariums. I think my cousin had one once.” I laughed and said it couldn’t possibly be the same fish as I’m sure Woolworths isn’t selling precious tropical fish for human consumption. After some Googling, we saw that it was indeed, not the same fish but what we South Africans call Angelfish is also known as Brama Brama, Atlantic Angelfish or Atlantic Pomfret (thanks Sassi). C was much calmer after we saw that he wouldn’t be eating his cousin’s childhood pet’s brother and I was allowed to proceed with dinner.
As we are in the height of summer at the moment, I wanted to prepare the fish as simply as possible without having to stand in front of a hot stove and so, decided to grill them in the oven in a shallow baking tray drizzled with white wine, garlic and parsley. The skin went lovely and crisp and the flesh was soft and delicious. I served the fish on lemon pilaf as I was craving Basmati rice but didn’t want to do my normal steamed version. I have to say, this is so much easier than most people think and it is without-a-doubt one of the most delicious ways to prepare rice. So simple but so scrumptious. I used the white wine in the pan to drizzle over the fish and rice but if you wanted to indulge it up a bit, pour the liquid into a small saucepan and simmer with a little cream until reduced. Great for everyday dinner and you don’t have to worry about breaking any New Year’s resolutions when eating this fantastic meal!
for the lemon pilaf
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 red onions finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 4 cups water/stock
- salt & freshly cracked white pepper to taste
for the fish
- 4 x fillets fish of your choice skin on (I used Angelfish)
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- handful fresh parsley
- salt to taste
- To make the pilaf, fry the onion and garlic in the butter (add a drop of oil to stop the butter from burning) until soft and translucent.
- Add the lemon zest and fry for another 30 seconds before adding the rice.
- Stir the rice to coat in the aromatics then pour in the water/stock and lemon juice.
- Season to taste and cover with a lid.
- Allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is almost cooked.
- Stir the rice with a fork (a spoon will mash the rice), lightly.
- Place a lid on the pot, turn off the heat and allow to steam until ready to eat. Before serving, fluff with a fork again and adjust seasoning.
- To cook the fish, pre-heat the grill of your oven to hot.
- Place the fish on a shallow baking tray, skin up. Add the white wine and scatter over the sliced garlic and parsley. Season the fish and place in the oven.
- Allow to grill until the skin is crisp and the fish is cooked but still moist.
- Serve the fish on the rice and drizzle over some of the white wine from the roasting tray.