The Fish Called Armah; Roasted & Paired With Pasta.
What do you do when you get a big fish called Armah from your Mother on her return from the fish market? Roast it of course. The same fish market I got this grouper from. Remember that deliciousness? Unforgettable fish. This Armah fish was not going to go scot-free either. Chai!
Sunday was a particularly sunny day and I was almost deflated by the sun's rays and absolutely had no desire to go out looking for potatoes or yam to go with the fish.
But its always interesting to find ingredients in the cupboard you probably have forgotten about. My Barilla spaghetti called out from the back of the box of Cheerios during my search and I pulled it out with vim! Pasta and roasted fish, why ever not? And that Kale was not finished yet.
To marinate the fish, get some fresh herbs like Thyme, Dill, Basil or Parsley. There are dozens of recipes online on the different types of marinades. It doesn't hurt to try out with what will work for you too. I used parsley since it doesn't hurt. Painless trying.
I had to cut this giant fish into two as it was way bigger than my baking tray.
How To Make the Marinade
Chop up parsley
Crush garlic under your knife and chop it up some more. Crushing garlic brings out more of its flavour than just chopping it up.
Add one teaspoon of lemon zest ( grated lemon rind) and a sprinkling of red paprika flakes.
Combine all in one bowl, pour two tablespoons of olive oil onto the spices with one tablespoonful of lemon juice and two tablespoonfuls of vinegar. Finally 1 teaspoon of salt. Its a big fish. Now mix it up.
To marinate the fish:
Pat fish dry and lovingly pour the marinade over the fish. Use your hands to spread the mix into the gills, slitted gut and mouth. You can make light slits over the body using a knife for deeper marinade penetration. I used to watch my Grandma do that. God bless her soul.
Allow marinating to take place between 2-12 hours depending on how soon dinner or lunch is expected to be ready. I had less than 3 hours to dinner so the fish got about 2 hours to wallow in the marinade.
Pre-heat oven at Gas Mark 1 ( I totally need a gas stove with temperature numbering instead of bullet points.)
Lightly cover the base of a baking dish or rimmed tray with oil to prevent fish from sticking at the bottom. Place fish gently in the middle of the tray. Cover with an aluminium foil to retain moisture in the fish during roasting.
I told you the fish was wayyy bigger than the tray. See?!
Into the oven it goes!
If you have lunch plans for the fish the following day, a great time to marinade would be the night before. Your lunch wont be the same again.
Now time to go Swiss Chard!
I jumbled together the Swiss Chard, tomatoes and onions as a side salad. What made this salad most interesting was the sweet vinaigrette I made. A mix of strawberry jam, vinegar, thyme, olive oil and dashes of salt & black pepper gave the salad a sweetest taste with a light sourishness (that cant be a word, can it? ) in the background. Sesame seeds was enough to bring a nutty flavour to the vinaigrette. Am I the only person who cant help tasting a delicious vinaigrette over and over again? Just me eh? Hmm..
Fish is done! To check if the fish is done, use a fork to very lightly flake the body of the fish. If it comes off easily on the fork, then you know its time to C H O P!
Looks correct paa doesnt it? The pasta too not wanting to be outdone came in full swing.
Armah fish is a pretty bland fish need time to marinate and also stronger spices to get in there. A glass of sweet white wine will also go perfectly with this fish to add more flavour. I think for now Grouper has my heart above all other fishes. For now.
This meal is a non-recipe and I really love how it turned out.
I surely must go out there and discover the kinds of fishes we have in Ghana and their corresponding Ga and English names. I am yet to find out the English name for the Armah fish but if you do know please share it in the comments below. I would R E A L L Y appreciate it!
Please do share for sharing as you know is always caring!