Source: Modified from the series “Cozinha Regional Brasileira” (Brazilian Regional Cuisine, http://www.cozinharegional.com.br), book 12 (Alagoas)
History: With its rich coast and many small lagoons, the state of Alagoas is well known for its seafood, not only with its many different kinds of fish, but also with shrimp, lobster, squid, octopus, oysters, different species of crab and shellfish. This one is a quick/easy dish, which I prepared yesterday (and it turned out really good).
Variation from the original: The recipe asked for “camurim” or “robalo” (sea bass), but I couldn’t find it, so I used fresh cod. It used lime to season the fish, but I only had a lemon (and it turned out just fine). The fish was served with a pumpkin purée, but since I didn’t find any good squash in the supermarket I used sweet potatoes. Also, the orange sauce was supposed to be made with “real” oranges (juice of 6 oranges), I used store-bought orange juice (making it even quicker). Finally, the recipe asked for table cream, and I used whipping cream (just increased the amount as it’s thinner).
Ingredients from specialty stores: None
- Cod filets (about 1.5lb)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. olive oil for frying
- salt & pepper
- Orange sauce:
- 1.5 cup orange juice
- 4 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato (a little over 1lb), peeled, cubed
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- salt & pepper
Season the fish with the lemon, salt and pepper, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, fry the fish filets both sides (about 5 minutes per side, depending on their thickness) and reserve. In a small sauce pan, prepare the sauce: mix the orange juice and the sugar, and cook in medium heat (careful for the liquid not to bubble up and go out of the pan) for about 20 minutes (the liquid will reduce by more than half). Add the wine, then cook for another 2-3 minutes and reserve.
Cook the sweet potato until it’s fork-tender (this can be started while the sauce is being cooked). In a medium pan, add the butter and the potato, mashing it well. Add in the cream, then season to taste with salt & pepper.
Cover the fish with the sauce, and serve it with the mashed sweet potatoes.