Merluza a la Marinera

A Spanish dish, Merluza a la Marinera (mair-loot-sah ah lah mah-ree-nair-ah) is good served with baked potatoes and a lightly dressed green salad.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

2 oz. ground almonds

2 oz. fresh breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 lb. tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 lb. cod fillets

2 pints hot water juice of i lemon

2 teaspoon salt bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray,

1 bay leaf and

4 black peppercorns tied together

2 tablespoons blanched, flaked almonds

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ground almonds, breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons of the parsley and the tomatoes. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture is thick. Remove

Ideal for a lunch or dinner party, Merlans Farcis aux Crevettes are whiting stuffed shrimps or prawns and mushrooms. the pan from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Arrange the fish fillets in one layer in a large baking tin. Pour over the hot water and the lemon juice and add the salt and bouquet garni. Cover the baking tin with aluminium foil and place it in the oven. Poach the fish for 8 to 12 minutes or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the tin from the oven and carefully transfer the fillets to a heated serving dish. Keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

Strain and reserve 3 fluid ounces of the fish cooking liquid. Add it to the tomato and almond mixture in the frying-pan, stirring well to blend. Place the pan over moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle with the flaked almonds and the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

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