Salade Chaude Basquaise

A delightful hot salad made with mussels, olive oil and vegetables, Salade Chaude Basquaise (sah-lahd shoh bah-skays) may be served with crusty bread and butter for an hors d’oeuvre or light meal.4 fl. oz. olive oil

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 ½ lb. hake, cut INTO 6 X 1-inch slices

4 oz. frozen petits pois, thawed, cooked until tender and drained

3 canned red pimientos, drained and cut into strips

24 mussels, scrubbed and steamed

8 croutons, kept hot

2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

In a shallow ovenproof dish large enough to hold the fish slices in one layer, com-bine the olive oil, chilli powder, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Place the fish in the dish and marinate at room temper-ature for 1 hour, basting occasionally.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil and place it in the centre of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven. Re-move and discard the aluminium foil. Place the petits pois, pimientos and mussels in the dish and return it to the oven. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the dish from the oven. Re-move and discard the bay leaf. Garnish with the croutons and hard-boiled eggs and serve immediately.

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