Plaki is a Greek dish of fish baked in a richly spiced tomato and onion sauce. Add hot sauce to the tomato sauce to taste, if you’d like. To save time, prepare the sauce in advance—it actually gets better with time, after the flavors have gotten a chance to meld.
- Olive oil
- 2 cups of a mix of leeks (white & light green portion), red onion, cippolini onions, torpedo onions, etc., cut into slices and then in half moons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced into thin coins
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ cup oregano fresh
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 cups peeled and seeded canned tomato, crushed by hand
- 1 pound boiling potatoes, cut into thin slices, skin on
- Lemon juice to taste (approximately 2 tablespoons)
- 4 pounds silver hake filets
- To make plaki sauce, in a hot pan, sauté the leeks/onions in a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper. As the onions just begin to color, add garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is aromatic. Add the spices, herbs and capers, and continue to sauté 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Add the red wine and let bubble until the alcohol is burnt off. Add the tomato and bring to just a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add potatoes, mixing in, but taking care not to break the slices. Cook gently until the potatoes are quite soft. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. This can be prepared ahead of time and cooled, then refrigerated, as much as 3 days in advance. It is best when refrigerated overnight so flavors meld.
- To serve, skin the hake and remove any bones or membranes, and cut into 8-ounce portions. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat the plaki sauce, taking care to not break the potatoes. Transfer the plaki sauce to a baking/serving dish. In a fresh skillet, sauté the hake for 2 minutes on each side (or grill the hake, rotating it once each side to make angled grill marks, for a total grilling time of 4 minutes).
- Place hake on the hot sauce and put the baking pan in the oven to heat and cook through. The hake needs about 12 minutes total cooking time per inch of thickness of the filet. Taste for salt and pepper, and sprinkle with lemon juice if desired. Bring to the table and use a spatula to lift the sauce with a filet of the hake on top so the fish shows with the sauce under.