This is for and about home cooks - the women all over the the world (and through the centuries) who put dinner on the table every night. They know how to cook quickly, easily, economically, healthily and satisfyingly whether for one or a dozen.

Part memoir, part diary of shopping, cooking, reading and thinking about putting supper on the table, by a former fashion/design writer/consultant whose secret love has always been food.  


Easy Fish Steak Galician Style (Meluza a la Gallega)

From “The Foods and Wines of Spain” by Penelope Casas

From “The Foods and Wines of Spain” by Penelope Casas

Easy Fish Steak Galician Style (Meluza a la Gallega)

From “The Foods and Wines of Spain” by Penelope Casas

This is another of of my favourite easy, unpretentious but absolutely delicious recipes from Penny's beautifully written books on Spanish food - the kind of dish you might dream of discovering at a rustic little restaurant tucked away somewhere on the Spanish coast but can turn out, with minimum effort, for your own table. You need nothing else but a green salad and a glass of wine. A treasure.

ALL YOU NEED: to serve 4

½ cup plus 4 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons minced parsley

2 teaspoons paprika

1 ½ new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices

1 tablespoon flour


freshly ground black pepper

dash ground cloves

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon thyme

4 (or 2 large) fish steaks such as hake or fresh cod, about 1 inch thick

In a shallow casserole, heat ½ cup of the oil and saute the onion until it is wilted. Stir in the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and the paprika. Add the potatoes, shake to coat well with the oil. Sprinkle in the flour, then add water barely to cover. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cloves, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and cook 24 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. (Note: watch, as my potatoes always seem to cook in about 15 minutes.)

Contrary to Penny’s recipe, I put the potatoes with the sauce into one baking dish (she suggests 4 individual dishes), then place the fish steaks on top. Sprinkle with the minced parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Place in pre heated 350F oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes. 

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