There really is nothing Greek about this Polish ryba po grecku recipe, yet that's the name it has carried for hundreds of years. This traditional recipe features fried white fish–such as tilapia, perch, pike, walleye, whiting and orange roughy, among others–which is then smothered in a tomato-vegetable sauce. At first blush, we wondered why would anyone want to cover crispy fried fish with a wet sauce? Well, it works and is delicious hot or cold. Ryba po grecku is often one of the courses at the meatless Christmas Eve meal known as wigilia and is a good choice anytime a meatless meal is required.
- For the Fish:
- 1 pound white fish fillets (tilapia, perch, pike, walleye, etc.)
- A few dashes salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons oil (for frying)
- For the Vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 large carrots (peeled and coarsely grated)
- 1 rib celery (coarsely grated)
- 1 parsnip (peeled and coarsely grated)
- 1 large leek (white and part of the green end, rinsed of all grit and sliced)
- 6 whole allspice
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste (or more to taste)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Rinse and pat fish fillet dry. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and sauté in oil until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium and add 2 tablespoons oil. Add carrots, celery, parsnip, leek, and sauté until vegetables have collapsed, stirring frequently. Add allspice, bay leaf, and tomato paste. Mix well and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the bay leaf and allspice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place 1/3 of the tomato-vegetable mixture on a serving platter. Lay the fried fish on top. Cover completely with the remaining tomato-vegetable mixture. Serve hot or cold.