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Sephardic Poached Fish in Pepper Sauce

Photograph by Michael Bennett Kress

This recipe is versatile and can be made with any type of white fish or salmon. You can really kick up the spice factor by adding a tablespoon of store-bought harissa or some more chili powder, hot paprika or red pepper flakes. This dish also can be served as a main course for lunch over the holiday.

Serves 6–8

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Advanced prep: May be made 3 days in advance
Equipment: Cutting board • Knives • Measuring cups and spoons • Large frying pan with 2-inch sides • Silicone spatula

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 orange pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper
¼–½ teaspoon chili powder, hot paprika or crushed red pepper flakes
1½ cups water
2 pounds white fish (such as tilapia, halibut or flounder) or salmon
2/3 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1) Cut fish into 2-by-5-inch long pieces, or fillets may be cut lengthwise in half. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large frying pan with 2-inch sides over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the red, orange and yellow peppers, and cook for another 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in the chili powder. Add the water, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

2) Reduce the heat to low, place the fish slices on top of the garlic, onions and peppers, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Use a fork to pick up some of the peppers and onions and place them on top of the fish slices. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from New Passover Menu ©2015 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

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