Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Basque fish dish



  • slices stale French bread
  • olive oil


Sauce and fish:

  • 400 ml concentrated fish stock
  • (fumet)
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 green paprika
  • 1 red paprika
  • 1 onion
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 pieces (Atlantic) cod fillet
  • à 150 g
  • plain flour, salt, olive oil

Very South European with that pleasant aroma of olive oil, garlic and tomato. Nevertheless the Ttoro stems from times when tomatoes were unknown because in old descriptions it is simply the cooking liquid of le stoque-fishe poured over pieces of bread fried in oil. Later on people from Saint-Jean- de-Luz added pieces of fresh fish such as angler and hake with scampi, mussels and bell peppers and tomatoes imported from America.

Basques are traditionally tough seamen and word has it that during whale fishing they discovered the coast of New Foundland far before Columbus. From then on, according to some food historians, the finest ‘American’ dishes were invented in French Basque Country.

For this simple version I used fish stock and fillet. For even at a fish shop you cannot always find a whole fish with clear eyes, from which you can use the head and tail for the sauce and cut the rest in slices.

  • Brush the bread slices with olive oil on each side. Put into an oven of 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6
  • Slice the peppers (without seeds and membrane) as well as the onion in rings. Bring stock and wine to the boil. Cook those rings for 5 minutes. Add the washed tomatoes for 1 minute. After that peel and quarter them. Keep apart.
  • Fish all green pepper rings, some red and some onion rings from the pan. Keep apart.

Cook the rest with crushed garlic, tomato purée another 5 minutes. Purée with a hand mixer or a blender. Season with salt.

  • Coat the fish with salted flour, shaking off the excess. Heat a layer of olive oil in a frying pan. Brown the fish on each side in 2 minutes per side. Drain on kitchen paper.
  • Warm the fish sauce in a shallow flame proof dish. Put the fish in it. Garnish with the vegetables you kept apart. Warm briefly. Add the croutons just before serving. Ladle into deep plates.

Wine: White Bordeaux


Menu suggestion:

  • First course: smoked oysters (tin) on dressed lamb’s lettuce.
  • Dessert: strong coffee with a pure dark chocolate.

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