Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Anna Sultana's Baked Tunny, Maltese Style Fish

Looking for more fish recipes?
You're in luck.

Malta's an island and fish is a basic part of the menu.
Of course no one wants fish served the same way every day.

Which brings us to Ma's recipe for baked tunny.
Well, that's what she said sometimes when I asked, "What's for dinner?"

Being an immigrant is sometimes like being the Peter Graves character in Stalag 17.
Graves was the German spy who was passing as an American from Cleveland, Ohio.
Well, he was doing fine until he was asked when he'd heard about Pearl Harbor.
Graves said 6 pm.
Right time for someone who was in Berlin, Germany.
Wrong time for someone in Cleveland, Ohio.

I still get spotted as a former Yankee when it comes to terms like 'chesterfield'.
If someone points to a sofa, I automatically say 'couch'.
You never quite learn everything.

So it was with Ma when she served us fish.
Sometimes she'd just use terms she'd grown up knowing.
It was no big problem… her recipes were always good.

Bluefin tuna were called tunny, especially in the United Kingdom. 
Then there's the little tunny, found in the Mediterranean Sea.
The little tunny weighs around 35 pounds.
It's a hard life for the little tunny - everything, including seabirds - eat them.

Speaking of eating little tunnies…
They should be bled and iced soon after being caught.
They are perfect for baking and barbecuing.
Don't like a strong fishy flavor?
Remove the dark strips along the length of each fillet.

Tuna can be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. 
It can also be a source of mercury.
Nothing's perfect.


If you can't find tunny, use a nice thick piece of fish.
The baking time depends on the thickness of the fish.
If you got a particularly thick section, go long.
If you didn't, don't.

                        Baked Tunny

Serves 4

Combine in a bowl
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon mint
1 Tablespoon parsley

In a well greased baking pan place
3 onions, sliced
1/2 kilo potatoes, sliced
3/4 Cup water

1 kilo fresh tunny, cleaned (and bled, if necessary)
on top of the sliced onions and potatoes

Cover the fish with
1/2 kilo tomatoes, cut into halves
Sprinkle over the tomatoes
the spice mixture

Drizzle over the spice mixture
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Bake in a 350ยบ F oven for about an hour.
Serve with a cooked vegetable.
A nice crusty bread would be good, too.

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