It takes a special touch to make this dish, and it’s usually the head of the household who prepares brudet in Croatia. You will need to use at least three different types of fish. Reef and rock fish with white flesh are the best. This dish is serious business and it takes time to master. This is a good recipe that really works — in my opinion, it works wonders. I hope you enjoy it. Dobar tek! — Ino Kuvačić, author of Dalmatia
- 3 Pounds 5 ounces fish (such as eel, monkfish, rockling, rock flathead, snapper, cod or whiting)
- 5 fluid ounces extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 1 3/4 fluid ounces tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
- 3 1/2 fluid ounces white wine
- 2 Cups fish stock
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Soft polenta, to serve (optional)
Cut the whole fish, including skin and bones, into cutlets.
Marinate the fish in half the olive oil, half the garlic, the parsley, and the lemon juice for a few hours.
In a large, heavy-based pan or clay pot set over high heat, sauté the remaining garlic in the remaining olive oil, adding the onion after a few seconds so the garlic doesn’t burn.
When the onion starts to brown slightly, add the passata and cook for 1 minute.
Add the wine and cook until it loses its acidity, about 5 minutes.
Season each piece of fish well with salt and pepper.
Place the fish in the pan and mix well, adding just enough fish stock to cover the fish. Boil rapidly over high heat.
Do not stir, but rather shake the pan carefully to avoid breaking the fish and cook for 20 minutes.
Take the brudet off the stove and serve with soft polenta, if desired.
Recipe excerpted with permission from Dalmatia by Ino Kuvačić (Hardie Grant Books, May 2017)