A Huge Fish Baked In A Salt Shell From The Reservoirs Of The Azerbaijani Village

Baking a huge fish in a salt shell is a popular cooking technique that imparts a unique flavor and helps to retain the moisture of the fish. While I don’t have specific information about Azerbaijani village reservoirs or their fish species, I can provide you with a general overview of how to prepare a fish baked in a salt crust. 

Here’s a recipe for baking a fish in a salt shell:

Ingredients:

  • A whole fish (such as sea bass, snapper, or salmon) cleaned and scaled
  • Coarse salt (approximately 2 kg or enough to cover the fish completely)
  • Fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, or thyme)
  • Lemon slices
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to a high temperature, around 400°F (200°C).

  2. Rinse the fish thoroughly, inside and out, and pat it dry with paper towels.

  3. Prepare the salt crust by mixing the coarse salt with a small amount of water, just enough to moisten the salt. The salt should hold its shape when squeezed.

  4. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper to catch any salt that may spill.

  5. Spread a layer of the salt mixture on the bottom of the baking tray, creating a bed for the fish.

  6. Stuff the fish’s cavity with fresh herbs and lemon slices to enhance the flavor.

  7. Place the fish on the bed of salt and cover it completely with the remaining salt mixture. Make sure the fish is well-encased in the salt shell.

  8. Place the baking tray with the salt-encased fish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the fish, so keep an eye on it.

  9. After the baking time is complete, remove the tray from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.

  10. Carefully crack open the salt crust, starting from the top, and remove it from the fish.

  11. Gently brush off any excess salt from the fish using a pastry brush or your hands.

  12. Drizzle some olive oil over the fish to add a touch of richness and shine.

Now, your baked fish in a salt shell is ready to be served! The salt crust will have formed a protective barrier, locking in the moisture and flavors of the fish. It’s a visually impressive and delicious dish that can be enjoyed with a side of fresh vegetables, roasted potatoes, or a light salad.

Remember, this recipe provides a general guideline, and you can adjust the ingredients and cooking time based on your preference and the size of the fish you are using.

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