Saturday, December 06, 2014

Baked Carp with Tomato Sauce for Saint Nicholas Day

Baked carp
As I wrote last year, St Nicholas day is one of the widely celebrated feasts in Bulgaria and according to the tradition carp shall be served on the table.
Frankly said, we eat carp only on this day of the year - we definitely prefer the sea creatures or the fast-swimming freshwater fishes like trout. Carp is kind of lazy freshwater fish which tends to contain a lot of fat and has often a kind of strange taste, referred to as muddy. I prefer smaller carps, slightly above 2 pounds (about 1 kg), which contain less fat. 
Today I prepared my carp with some tomatoes and oregano and it was light and tasty.
Baked carp with tomato sauce
·         1 whole carp
·         2 tsp salt
·         Juice of half lemon
·         2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
·         ½ cup olive oil
·         1 Tbsp minced oregano or thyme
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         Some lemons cut in slices for serving

Baked carp for Saint Nicholas DayPreparation:
Remove scales from the carp, gut the fish and wash well. Sprinkle with salt. 
The salted carp could be left for about 24 hours in the fridge. 
Half an hour before baking, take the carp out of the fridge, put in a plate and squeeze the juice of half lemon seasoning both sides of the fish.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Place tomatoes and olive oil in a shallow baking pan, add oregano and stir to incorporate. Lay the fish on top, brush with oil, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and bake uncovered for 1 hour until browned basting occasionally. 
Remove from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes and serve garnished with some slices of lemon.

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