Broiled Fish with Orange and Anchovies

This is a recipe I discovered years ago. And it comes from Spain. That, I'm pretty sure of.  This dish  definitely harks back to the Islamic reign in Spain which lasted 700 years. Paella; the use of saffron; the cold soup, gazpacho; almond torte; flan; albondigas (meatballs); escabeche (cold marinated fish); can all be traced back to Moorish cooking. They also introduced citrus such as lemons and Seville oranges, as well as cooking with anchovies---and here you get fish fillets with orange  and anchovies.

In this dish I use red snapper but you can use any good firm-fleshed fish fillets (haddock, scrod, cod, halibut, etc.). It calls for the zest, that is, flaked skin, of a lemon and an orange. You can use a fruit zester for this, or scrape the fruit skin using a grater; either works well. The dish has a nice citrusy undertone, but the other spices and the butter balance it off so that you get a succulent dish. It's a recipe that is easy, but made to impress.


4 five-ounce fish fillets
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Zest of 1/2 a lemon, grated
Zest of 1/2 orange, grated
Pinch of red pepper flakes (or more, if you want it spicier)
6-ounce can? anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry and finely chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 orange (preferably Seville orange), sectioned
1/2 lemon

1. Heat broiler on high. Brush both sides of fillets with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place fillets in a oven-proof dish on top of rack. If using red snapper, place them skin side up. Cook until skin is blistered and fish is almost cooked through, about 3-5 minutes---be careful not to burn the fish. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside.
3. Heat remaining olive oil in a medium skillet or fry pan over high heat. Add shallots, garlic, fruit zests, pepper flakes and anchovies. Cook until sizzling.
4. Add orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes or until thickened.
5. Turn off heat and swirl in the butter. Gently stir in the orange sections, and add a squirt of lemon juice from the 1/2 lemon.
6. Top the fish fillets with orange-anchovy sauce and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.