A Community of Memories

Some people never die, do they!  I’ve known a host of beautiful people who have profoundly influenced my life, who still feel very close to me now.

One such person is the talented Sophie, brilliant Bletchley Park code breaker, surrogate grandmother to our children, and the most humble, self-effacing person I’ve ever known.  Sophie is no longer with us on earth, but when I make this recipe she’s right beside me.

Sophie’s Fish Casserole. 

Oven moderate.

Gently fry a finely chopped sliced onion and 2 sticks of celery in olive oil until tender but not brown.  Add ½ teaspoon dried thyme, three or four of cardamom pods and salt and pepper to taste.   Add a slosh of white wine (4 tablespoons or so) and cook until the alcohol disappears.  Add one can of chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper.  While that comes to a simmer, oil a casserole dish and put raw skinned fish fillets in one layer on the bottom.  Add any other seafood you find lurking in the corner of a freezer drawer – a mixture of smoked and fresh is tasty.  Add a small tin of smoked mussels or smoked oysters, juice and all.  When the tomato sauce is hot, pour it over the fish.  Sprinkle the casserole with grated cheese or grated cheese mixed with buttered bread crumbs.  Bake until the casserole is chuckling and bubbly (about 25 minutes or so).

Optional changes

  1. Use canned tomatoes with chillis, and/or a pinch of crushed chillies to the onion mixture.
  2. I wonder what a chopped fennel bulb would be like, added to the onion and celery? Cook this until tender as well. If you try it, do let us all know, via the blog. Thanks.


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