This fish casserole with tomato-apple sauce will be your favorite midweek dish for hot summer days. Occasionally also suitable for an Indian summer. And occasionally on Sunday. This because it is easy to make, budget friendly and a perfect light meal during tropical days. And in addition to the standard recipe, you can pimp up your sauce in very creative ways. More about that further down in the article, but first we start with the recipe.
About fish casserole with tomato-apple sauce
As mentioned in the beginning, this summer fish casserole with tomato-apple sauce is both budget-friendly and easy to make. It may be your midweek alternative for our surprising seafood fricassee. And the combination of tomatoes and apple in one delicious sauce is truly surprising. Try it, love it, and make it again!
Preparing the ingredients
The first convenient thing about this fish casserole is that you don't need too much time chopping up your vegetables. Not a pleasant task on hot summer days and this saves already most of your time.
For the tomatoes, you just have to halve them and then remove the green parts from the stem. Then roughly chop them and ready they are!
And also for the apple the procedure is more or less the same. Cut the apple in four edges and then remove the skin and the core. Which apple should you take? Well, I prefer a juicy, slightly sour apple. Like for example a Pink Lady, my current favorite. But you may check available and prices locally. If you have small apples, you may also decide to use two of them. The apple adds natural freshness and sweetness to the sauce. So no reason to use sugar or other sweeteners.
And for the onion? Same procedure. Just remove the outer skin and then cut it into coarse pieces.
The cooked ham is optional. If you prefer not to eat meat, you may just leave it out. It adds a salty flavor, but you can compensate with some additional salt or spices.
Also the small gherkins and the capers add to the fresh taste. You can vary with the quantities as you like. After all, it is cooking, not exact math.
I love butter, and will add it to anything, just for its taste. It also adds some extra creaminess to the sauce.
So now you have prepared all your ingredients. No you only have to puree them in your kitchen machine. And taste how delicious this sauce is. 15 minutes in the oven later your casserole will be ready to serve.
Which fish to use for this casserole?
We made this fish casserole with cod. And indeed a firm white fish is the best fit to this sauce. And most of the time cod is very budget friendly.
But of course the sea is full of fish. Other fish I love to use for this dish are hoki fillet and pangasius. The latter is also very cheap normally.
Another alternative is monk fish. This may be your choice for the weekend.
How to spice up your sauce?
The three main ingredients for this recipe are a white fish, tomatoes and an apple. Replacing them will result in a new recipe. But apart from that there is a lot you can do to bring different flavors into your sauce.
First of all, you could replace the cooked ham with bacon strips. Fry them in a pan and only add them to the sauce after pureeing. The fat and the bacon in the salt carry a lot of flavor for your sauce.
You like it a bit more spicy? Then consider adding a red chili pepper to the sauce. or two! Also Tabasco and (cayenne) pepper are good spices to pimp up your sauce.
How red should your sauce be? By mixing the tomatoes with the apple the color will turn into a paler shade of red. But there is something you can do about it. In the standard recipe we added a tablespoon of tomato paste to make the color more intensive again. You may also add two. Other choices are paprika powder or even tandoori to give it an Indian twist. But be careful with this one, as it colors very intensively.
And finally we need to talk about alcohol. It is also a classic flavor carrier. As we used already apple in the recipe, the choice for apple cider is obvious. So you can also opt to add a tablespoon of apple cider to further taste.
Do you have more great ideas to add additional taste to the sauce? Then let us know via the comments at the bottom of the article.
We have regularly fish on the menu lately. Fish is healthy and on hot summer days you choose lighter meals anyway. So fish is a better fit than meat. Here you can find some more delicious fish recipes:
- Seafood fricassee.
- Pangasius in tomato-saffron sauce.
- Summer salad with tender salmon.
- Fiskasúpa - Icelandic fish soup.
- Salmon with lemon butter sauce and green asparagus.
In fact I do not eat apple as a fruit that much. But I love apples to bring a surprising twist to classical recipes. Find some examples here:
- Carrot-apple salad.
- Apple-potato salad.
- Hot smoked salmon with cucumber and apple.
- Blinis with smoked salmon and an apple-cream topping.
The summers are becoming so long, warm and dry that you need to follow a special summer diet nowadays. Find here our recent collection:
- Watermelon gazpacho.
- Summer lunch with chicken and croutons.
- Watermelon strawberry salad.
- Zucchini lunch with cheddar sauce.
- Creamy peach gazpacho with almonds.
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.