This is the second instalment of our two ‘IPS Centenary video-recipes and interviews’. In this video, Maria Dellas presents Savoro, a unique Ithacan fish dish of fried silver-whiting dressed with a blackcurrant, rosemary, garlic and malt vinegar sauce – a texture and flavour combination that is truly drool-worthy!
Fish have always been a staple of the Ithacan diet. In years past, without refrigeration, fish caught at sea would need to be cooked and preserved. The vinegar in this dressing helped to preserve the fish, allowing the islanders to eat them over a number of days. We weren’t able to verify this fact, as the KO Film Crew devoured this delicious dish the moment filming was done!
While Maria has used silver-whiting in this recipe, you can use fillets of rockling if you don’t like fiddling with the bones.
Immediately following the recipe, Maria shares her Ithacan-Australian journey in a very engaging interview.
You will need…
For the fish
- 1kg whole silver whiting with heads intact, gutted and scaled
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
For the sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 6 sprigs flat-leafed rosemary, leaves removed from stalks
- 2 cups dried blackcurrants
- 350ml malt vinegar
Cook the fish
- Thoroughly combine the flour and salt in a broad flat bowl. Set aside.
- It is important that the fish do not sit with the flour coating for too long, as the moisture in the fish and the flour will combine to create a gummy batter.
- You should therefore only start coating the fish once the oil is hot.
- Generously coat the base of a large pan with olive oil to a depth of 3-4mm. Heat the pan on a high flame until the oil is hot. You can check if the oil is hot enough by sprinkling a pinch of flour in it – if you see it bubbling, it’s ready.
- Lightly coat one fish at a time in the flour mixture and place in the heated oil, ensuring there is sufficient space around the fish to enable them to be easily turned over once they have cooked.
- Depending on the size of your pan, this may mean you need to fry the fish in batches.
- Fry the fish until the bottom of the fish is golden brown and crispy.
- Gently turn the fish over and fry until the other side has also browned.
- When the fish have cooked on both sides, place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Prepare the sauce
- Once all the fish have been fried, remove all but a few tablespoons of oil from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the slices of garlic and the rosemary leaves to the pan. Fry these a little.
- Add the blackcurrants to the pan.
- Slowly add the malt vinegar. Stir and reduce the sauce until the blackcurrants have absorbed most of the vinegar and the liquid has thickened. The sauce can have more or less liquid based on your personal preference.
Serve the savoro
- Spoon the sauce on top of the fish.
- Serve and enjoy!