This is the first fish recipe that I’m posting on this blog. Fish dishes are not the first thing we associate with Russian cuisine (unless, of course, we’re talking about sturgeon.) This would be a false first impression. Eastern Europe in general, and Russia in particular, have access to relatively short lengths of sea coast, but this is compensated for by a large number of navigable rivers, which are a great source of fish. The rivers created the supply of fish, while the meat-free Fridays observed by the Russian Orthodox Church contributed to the demand for it. This recipe is the fishy relative of Beef Stroganoff and it is based on the same delicious combination of sour cream and mushrooms.
1 lb fish filet
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, sliced into half-rings
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon mustard (preferably Dijon, but any other will do)
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup sour cream
Vegetable oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
1/2 lb (dry) egg noodles
- Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry with paper towels.
- Lay the fish out on a baking pan.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Start the broiler on a “Low” setting.
- Set the baking pan into the broiler for 12-15 minutes, or until the inside of the fish is no longer pink and the outside is golden brown. (It is difficult to specify the broiling time more precisely because it depends on the type and size of fish fillets, as well as on the properties of your oven.)
- While the fish is broiling, do the following:
- Slice the onions into half-rings.
- Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil into a frying pan and warm it up for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the onions.
- When the onions start to turn golden-brown, add the mushrooms, mustard, and flour. Mix well, then cover the pan and let it cook on low-to-medium heat.
- At this point, the fish should be done. Take it out of the oven and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- When the mushrooms start to release their juices (after about 5 minutes), add the sour cream and fish. Mix well and let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
The photo shows the Fish Stroganoffsky together with a vegetable salad, which will be the subject of a later post. As you can see, the mushrooms and sour cream make a rich sauce, so that the fish is not even visible. Side dishes that work best with this recipe are those that absorb the sauce well, such as pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, couscous, and of course kasha (i. e. toasted buckwheat groats).
Note: you can decrease the preparation time by about 10 minutes by substituting for the onions with 1 teaspoon of onion powder. The drawback, of course, is that the taste and appearance won’t be as appetizing.