Sicilian cooking is really fusion cooking. The Moors were in Sicily in the 10th and 11th centuries, and they brought all kinds of good things, like, apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts and cinnamon. This recipe is sort of an homage to the Moorish presence.One of the best things about this recipe, other than the fabulous flavor, is it’s quick. It’s a perfect mid-week dish, but can also knock the socks off of guests. Unless they’re like me, and always barefooted! But, I digress, yet again. This is a layered affair and what anyone would call a “skillet” dinner, because you can make it in a skillet and bring it right to the table! I used Swai here, but I have used cod and bream, as well. Any whitefish works well. Here it is in pictures…you know that “worth a thousand words” thing!
Sicilian Fish with Onions, Peppers, Raisins and Olives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips (or 1 large handful frozen pepper strips)
- 1/4 cup raisins, either white or dark
- 1/3 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives (you can leave small ones whole)
- Julienned zest from 1/2 an orange (about 2 teaspoons–optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed between your fingers
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 pound tilapia fillets (swai, haddock, sole or any whitefish)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cajun seasoning, to dust the fillets
- 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Drizzle the olive oil over the bottom of an oven-proof pan; I prefer a cast iron skillet. Layer the onion, bell pepper strips, raisins and olives into the pan. Sprinkle the oregano, garlic granules, red pepper flakes and cinnamon evenly over the veggies. Combine the wine and orange juice; pour around the edge of the pan. Lay the fillets over the veggies, covering the veggies entirely. Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Lay the lemon slices over the fish. Slide the pan into the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and cooked. Remove the pan from the oven; carefully lay the fish on a serving platter; tent with foil and set aside. Place the pan over high heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 2-3 tablespoons. Give the mixture a good stir. Pour over the fish fillets and serve immediately with rice or polenta.
Sicilian Fish with Onions, Peppers, Raisins and Olives Recipes©Marcia Lahens 2021. All rights reserved.