Pescado en Aceite de Oliva (Fish in Olive Oil)

Another dish I recreated from when I was on vacation in the Southern islands of the Philippines. The original dish was named “Pesce De Oliva” and I had it at a reunion with old friends at Tiny Kitchen in Davao City, Philippines. It was so good that everyone was still talking about it once we got back to Manila.

I had my first attempt recreating it back in January, but altho it was good, the taste wasn’t as close, probably due to the lack of ingredients and using Cream Dory as the fish.

I also used a baking dish and did not cook the fish and vegetables partly before roasting in the oven.

My second try this time was quite different: used a fish with a stronger taste (Halibut) , and cooked it over a cast iron pan before baking a bit in the oven. This turned out much closer to the original! Even better, it can be done in less than 30 minutes.

Pescado en Aceite de Oliva (Fish in Olive Oil)

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams Halibut Fillet
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled.
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 red or white onion sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup pickled cocktail onions
  • 2 tbsps capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives,chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes in medium slices
  • 1/4 cup pimientos sliced thinly
  • A handful of french beans (1/2 cup or so)
  • Optional: a few baby potatoes (better if potatoes are boiled for 6 mins prior)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • Dried thyme for seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Season the halibut with salt, pepper, dried thyme and the juice of half a lemon.
  2. On a hot cast iron pan heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and pan fry the halibut until lightly cooked on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Add the rest of the olive oil and stir in garlic, onions and cocktail onions. Once garlic is fragrant add tomatoes and pimientos, pickled cocktail onions, capers and both types of olives. Season lightly with salt.
  4. Deglaze the pan with white wine and let the wine reduce by 50%.
  5. Add the french beans and potatoes and basil. Season further with salt and pepper and create a bed of vegetables for the fish.
  6. Place the fish back on the pan over the bed of vegetables, but covering it with a few more beans and tomatoes and pimiento. Top the fish with thin lemon slices.
  7. In a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven, place the cast iron pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice or more baby potatoes.

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