This oven dish can be a comforting warm dinner for the colder winter days, is easy and quick to assemble, and baked ready in only 30 minutes. The portion can be easily doubled (or tripled) to serve it for more people. The thyme and roasted paprika make a wonderful combination bringing back sunny memories of warmer days. The fried fish topped with this flavourful sauce and cheese stays juicy and almost melts in your mouth. Combining it with the low-carb cauliflower rice makes a light but still warm and comforting dinner.
When it’s grated, cauliflower is a great alternative to rice. Its white colour, grainy structure and neutral taste feels a lot like rice. In this baked oven dish it becomes especially jummy, as it is soaked with the juices of the baked fish and the sweet roasted paprika sauce. Grated cauliflower contains more water than cooked rice so I reduced the water content of the sauce to keep the bottom layer moist but not too soggy.
Ingredients (makes 3 portions):
For the paprika sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- Two red bell peppers or sweet red paprikas (diced)
- 1 leek (sliced)
- 100 mililitre of canned tomato
- Bunch of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 500 grams of cauliflower
- ½ tablespoon olive oil, plus some extra to grease the oven-dish
- 350 grams of white fish fillet (such as cod or pangasius)
- 100 grams of grated cheese
Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet and add the paprika, leek and garlic. Roast on medium fire for 10 minutes then cover it and let it rest for 10 more minutes. Pick the leaves of the thyme and tip it into the blender with the canned tomato and half of the roasted vegetables. Blend until smooth, mix it with the remaining vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Clean the cauliflower and chop it coarsely in a food processor so you get a rice-like texture (do this in several batches if needed) and spread it in an even layer in a small greased oven-dish (about 28×17 centimetre). Pre-heat oven 180 degrees Celsius.
Grate some black pepper on the fish. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in another skillet and pre-fry fish for about three minutes per side on a medium fire until the outside gets a white layer. Do this in several goes depending on the size of the pan (the fish should not be touching each other). With a sharp knife, cut the fish in bite-size pieces. Place it on the top of the cauliflower rice, spread the paprika sauce in an even layer and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.