Author Notes: The original version of this recipe was from a Gourmet Magazine article in the 1980s (called something like "Provincetown's Yankee-Portuguese Flavor") about Portuguese cookery on the hook of Cape Cod. That recipe used raw scallops. I switched it to cod. While I used to use raw cod back then and let it "cook" overnight in the marinade, I decided to use cooked cod after a guilt attack--I once served it to my pregnant friend who was expecting twins at the time. She seems to have suffered no ill consequences--au contraire, she really liked the dish--since her twins are now in college. I eventually 'fessed up as to the presence of raw fish years after that meal, and we had a good laugh. Nevertheless, I now cook the cod. I have subbed hot fresh peppers and ground Aleppo pepper for the original red pepper flakes, and am offering it up as an hors d'oeuvre on individual cucumber cups instead of on the soft lettuce leaves called for in the original recipe. —creamtea
Makes: about 50-60 hors d'oeuvres
For the fish
pound fresh cod filet
small quantity of olive oil
For the marinade
bell pepper, red or green (your choice).
small hot pepper such as serrano, jalapeno, or fresno (optional)
cup Freshly squeezed fresh lime juice
garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
teaspoon Aleppo pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 - 1
cups extra-virgin olive oil, more or less to suit taste
tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro leaves (stems removed)
Persian cucumbers, thicker ones (over 1" in diameter) rather than thinner, washed, the ends trimmed
For the fish
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Rinse fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Brush a sheet of aluminum foil, large enough to envelope the cod, with a thin coating of olive oil.
- Place the cod crosswise on the foil, bring up the short ends so they meet, and fold several times to seal. Fold the remaining ends twice to seal into a packet.
- Place in preheated oven and bake, until done, about 20 minutes, (more or less, depending on thickness). You can carefully unwrap to check for doneness. Fish should be opaque and flake slightly when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, open package, and allow to cool
For the marinade
- Dice the bell pepper fine, and mince the hot pepper if using.
- In a medium bowl, combine minced garlic and lime juice. Add the Aleppo pepper and whisk to combine.
- Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until emuslified. Stir in minced bell and fresh hot peppers. Taste for seasoning, adjust, adding more lime or olive oil as necessary, and add salt and freshly-ground pepper. The marinade should be sharp with salt, lime and garlic.
- With fingers, gently flake the cooked, cooled fish. Stir fish into marinade. Refrigerate for an hour or more to combine flavors.
- Remove fish mixture from refrigerator. Stir in minced cilantro. Drain mixture in a mesh strainer.
- While fish is draining, cut cucumbers into 1 inch slices crosswise. There will be 4 to 5 slices per cucumber. With a small melon baller, carefully scoop out flesh from one end of each thick cucumber slice to create a hollow for the fish.
- With the tip of a small spoon, or a 1/2 teaspoon measure, spoon some of the marinated fish into each cucumber cup. Arrange cups on a serving platter, and whisk out to the assembled, expectant guests.