Sardines and anchovies were some of the classic favorites of my family when I was a little girl.
At that time, the fish arrived to the countryside by means of street vendors who used bicycles as their mode of transportation.
A certain lady who was nicknamed “Giovanna of the fish” came to our area with two wooden cases that rested on the handlebars of her bicycle and one on the back, which ensured our supply. Usually, my mom bought one kilogram of fish. When I saw Giovanna arrive, I used to say, “One kilo, Giovanna,” to which she answered me with a laugh due to the expression I had on my face.
Today, we know that these types of fish are very beneficial to our health and aren’t too expensive.
I created this recipe keeping in mind those who typically don’t like this type of fish and are afraid of small bones that can be swallowed. This recipe, therefore, is great for children.
This simple recipe comes from the practice of philosophy: “to do with what you have.”
In this case it is the opportunity of a freshly caught fish, wild rosemary island of VIS (Dalmatia) and a poorly equipped kitchen.
The island of Vis (in Dalmatia, Croatia) is famous for its shellfish. So during my trip there I asked the fishermen of the local fish market located in the harbor of Komiza if he could get me some scampi. The local restaurants were grabbing all the scampi up so they were not easy to find. After a few days of waiting, he came up with some. I’ve cooked them in the simplest way possible. In a small shop on the island of Vis, I had purchased a small bottle of “white vermouth” to cook the fish and for this recipe it was really useful.
I had never seen a “conger eel” live, I had only seen pictures in fish books so I decided to buy some steaks to taste. The fisherman I was serving good round steaks but I saw some fillets and I also wanted two of those.
He sat in awe, and hesitated to serve them to me. Only after they were cooked did I realize that it was a piece towards the tail and it was full of bones. It was then that I understood his bewilderment at my choice.
This fish is compact and is a delicate meat. Not knowing and relying only on a casserole, I decided to make stewed tomatoes. The ingredients for the sauce were purchased at the stalls of the farmers in the port of Komiza (Vis island in Dalmatia), and their flavor is really special. I must also say that this fish only cost me 4.50 euros.
The dish can be presented as an appetizer or as a main course, it depends on the quantity. The doses written here are those of an entree. This is recipe published in the Christmas special of the magazine “A TAVOLA” from 1997. Every so often, when I need to relax, I browse my old magazines in the kitchen. I realize that I picked it up I had no particular interest in recipes, I just bought the magazine, and now my eyes take it to a different importance. It’s the sign that our tastes change, and if we pay attention to all the information we receive about food, we will definitely improve in our cooking.
Friday at the fish department of the grocery store I saw some beautiful mackerel with shiny skin with shades of silver blue diamonds. I decided to buy them. I wanted to cook them in a way that would make them easy to digest and so I thought of a recipe. The plate was well liked by my family.