On The Water’s Andy Nabreski, columnist for Living off the Land and Sea, shares a special recipe passed down to him from fishing legend Charley Soares. Andy shares his version of Cebolada, a traditional Portuguese onion sauce that adds some heat to freshly caught back sea bass fillets.
Baked fish with Cebolada
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 medium sweet yellow onions, sliced
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- One 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Portuguese chili sauce (or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
- Four 6-ounce portions catch of the day, skinned
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (and/or cilantro)
Add the oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the bay leaves and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onions, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until wilted and they begin to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, then cook for a few minutes until the garlic just begins to soften. Add the wine and water to deglaze the pan, and then add the paprika, vinegar, chili sauce and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
Season your fish with salt and pepper. Add most of the cebolada to a ceramic baking dish, top it with the fish, and spoon the remaining mixture on top. Place the pan on the top rack of a preheated 375-degree oven and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Finish it under the broiler for a few minutes to get some color on top. Garnish with parsley, and serve with a side of rice, boiled or fried potatoes, and some nice crusty bread. Trust me, you’ll need something to mop up this wonderful sauce with!
For more cooking recipes check out Andy’s other “Living off the Land and Sea” creations.
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