Aromatic sea bass stew from the monks of Mount Athos

Aromatic sea bass stew from the monks of Mount Athos

4 servings

Ingredients

1,3 kg (4 medium) NIREUS sea bass
1 kg peeled pearl onions, fresh or frozen
2 whole garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil 
2 large ripe peeled and grated tomatoes or 250gr concasse' di pomodori
1 Tablespoon tomato paste dissolved in ½ cup water
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
1 small stick cinnamon
3-4 allspice berries
½ teaspoon dry rosemary
salt and pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme

Preparation

Prepare the fish

Gut, scale, and rinse the fish. Keep the heads and tails, if desired, to make soup. Cut each fish in 3-4 chunks, season with salt and pepper, and keep chilled.

Cooking

Warm the oil in a swallow pot and sauté the pearl onions until soft and golden, about 20-25’. Add the garlic and stir all together for 1’. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice berries, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let simmer for approximately 25’, checking every so often to see if additional water is needed. If you use frozen pearl onions, reduce cooking time to 15’. Add the fish and lightly stir to blend with all other ingredients. Cover the pan and keep boiling until the fish is fork tender, about 20’ minutes or until the fish is cooked. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly.

To serve

Discard the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and allspice berries before serving. Garnish with a thyme sprig.