Fish in Crazy Water with Fennel

Aired March 26, 2013

Serves 4
1 28- to 32-ounce can Italian San Marzano tomatoes or 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ripe tomatoes in season, chopped
About 3 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3 turns of the pan, plus a drizzle for the bread
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced plus 1 clove, halved
1 small bulb fennel, cored and quartered then very thinly sliced (about a cup)
1 small onion, quartered and very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake or 1 small Fresno chili, seeded and finely chopped
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper
3 cups water
4 6- to 8-ounce snapper filets
4 slices peasant-style crusty bread, charred or broiled

Place tomatoes in a wide pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add EVOO, 3 turns of pan, garlic, fennel and onion, scattering the veggies around the pan in a thin layer. Add chili, parsley, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a rolling simmer and cover. Simmer 45 minutes, uncover and reduce by half, 10-15 minutes. Add fish, skin-side up, and cook 2-3 minutes. Flip, season fish with salt and pepper, and cook 5 minutes more.

Rub charred bread with garlic, drizzle with EVOO and season with sea salt. Place bread in a bowl and top with a piece of fish and some sauce.

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