Any firm white fish would pair beautifully with this intensely flavorful sauce, made of Pastis (Pernod, Ricard, or any anis-flavored liquor), fresh tomatoes, and sliced carrots, and cooked down until thick and substantial. Served with garlic toasts, this makes a healthy and easy one-pot meal. I served a simple gazpacho as a first course; that recipe to come, soon.
You'll need (serves 4):
4 filets of ocean perch or any firm white fish (even filet of sole would work here, since you don't move the fish around while cooking so it probably won't fall apart)
3 medium leeks, chopped (you should have about 1c chopped leeks)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 head garlic, crushed and sliced
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 dried chile
a mix of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, totalling about 1c, cut into large chunks
3/4c Ricard, Pastis, Pernod, etc.
1-2c chicken broth or water
1/2t saffron threads dissolved in 2T hot water (optional)
2T tomato paste
4 carrots, sliced
1 loaf bread
good olive oil
Heat olive oil and saute leeks and onions until translucent. Add garlic and jalapenos, saute until garlic is fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir; cook until slightly caramelized. Add Pastis and bring to a boil; boil until reduced by 2/3 and aroma is no longer alcoholic. Add saffron, dried chile, tomatoes and broth. Reduce heat to low and cook until thick, about 30 minutes. Add carrots and cook another 20 minutes.
In the meantime, slice bread and fry slices until golden in olive oil. Salt and set aside.
10 minutes before serving, salt and pepper fish and lay on top of pan. Cover and steam until fish flakes, about 10 minutes. Serve with olive oil toasts.