Red Snapper and Greek Potatoes (WHB#130: oregano)

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recipe: Greek lemon oregano potatoes

I was going to use this as my post for “Taste & Create VIII” but we decided to make another dish for that…. AND I was going to post this yesterday in time for WHB#129 but got distracted by the great outdoors. We have jumped from winter to summer here and bike riding in sunny 22C weather is too good an opportunity to pass up. So, here is a very very early post for:

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #130
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

(click on images for larger views and more photos)

Greek potatoes I’ve had a lot of fun wandering through my Taste & Create partner Bellini Valli’s (More Than Burnt Toast) site in search of a dish to make for “Taste & Create VIII”. One of those dishes was “Greek lemon oregano potatoes”.

And what a good choice this was. The potatoes are the perfect foil for charcoal grilled red snapper.

That day, we had ridden our bikes to get a new filter for our water purifier and got the most beautiful whole red snappers at a fish market that was on the way home. It was such a beautiful day that we decided to fire up the gas grill to barbecue them. And then T decided he wanted some smoke so he got some wood chips burning.

red snapper This red snapper couldn’t have turned out better! T rubbed the fish with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme and then clamped it into our handy bbq fish basket.

To cook the fish, we used the gas barbecue. Our gas barbecue can be turned on on one side only. T put the left-hand side on low and placed a metal tray with hickory chips on the burner. He then put the fish on the right-hand side and closed the lid to cook it over indirect heat. When it was time to finish the fish by grilling it, he decided to use the wood chips that had turned into beautiful glowing coals. So turned off the gas and finished cooking the fish over top of wood.

caper sauce T made a lemon and caper sauce (which is very similar Val’s Lemon and Caper Vinaigrette she drizzles over fried Halloumi) to go over the fish.

And then there were the potatoes. At first I thought I might have to substitute parsley for the fresh oregano in the potatoes but then I remembered our little Greek oregano plant in a pot overwintering in the basement. Even though indoor herbs aren’t as intensely flavoured as outdoor herbs, I figured it would be worth it. Because the taste of fresh oregano is so wonderful. Its slight peppery lemony flavour echoes the actual lemon.

Also, we didn’t have any small amounts of stock available – just large containers of frozen stock. I really should take my sister’s advice and freeze stock in ice cube trays so that I could just take a couple of cubes every so often. But chicken stock powder and water came to the rescue.

And because we were barbecuing, we decided not to turn on the big oven and used the toaster oven instead. This meant that the potatoes got beautifully golden all over. There was no need to broil them at the last minute.

Here is what we did to make Val’s potatoes:

Greek lemon oregano potatoes
based on Val’s Patates Riganates

serves 2

I love the intense lemony flavour of these golden potatoes flecked with emerald green oregano leaves.

  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • good shot olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • dried oregano, crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp chicken stock
  • seasalt and pepper, to taste
  • juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
  • fresh oregano leaves, chopped

preparation

  1. Wash the potatoes well. Don’t bother peeling them and cut them into largish bite sized pieces. Put the potatoes in a single layer into a sided baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper (if you are using chicken stock powder instead of stock, omit the salt entirely). Toss well to coat everything oil. Bake at about 400F for 15 minutes.
  2. Fish out the garlic (it will burn if it’s left in) and set aside.
  3. Stir in chicken stock (or chicken stock powder mixed with water). Bake 10 minutes more.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and bake about 10 minutes more (until the potatoes are fork tender and golden brown.
  5. Scatter fresh oregano leaves over top and serve immediately.

These potatoes go perfectly with grilled fish that is drizzled with lemon caper sauce.

What a fabulous way to celebrate the end of snow! (I hope… it doesn’t bode well that so much snow fell out west on the weekend) Steamed snow peas, parsley and Chilean red wine completed the feast.

Did I mention that Greek potatoes are delicious? I’m really looking forward to making them with our real chicken stock. It’s hard to imagine that they could be better but I have a sneaking suspicion they will be. Thank you Val, for this wonderful dish!

Stay tuned for the actual Taste & Create dish. (We had it again last night because we loved it so much!)

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #109
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

lemons and oregano This is new growth from the little oregano plant that is overwintering in the basement under grow lights. It’s all I dared to cut off. But I’m excited that spring has finally arrived so I’ll be able to take the plant outdoors where I’m hoping it will grow profusely. I’m thinking we will need a lot of Greek oregano now.

Oregano is winter hardy here but we do not have enough sun in our tiny shaded garden to put it in the ground. However, if there is a sunny patch, oregano grows like a weed and thrives on neglect….

Please read more about oregano:

weekend herb blogging - © kalyns kitchen This week Kalyn’s (Kalyn’s Kitchen) wonderful weekly event, WHB is being hosted by Margot (Coffee and Vanilla).

For more details on how to participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, please see the following:

 

Edit 18:02 EDT: Please read more about red snapper
Edit 1 May 2008: Margot has posted the WHB#130 round up

This entry was posted in crossblogging, food & drink, main course, posts with recipes, vegetables, WHB on by .

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  • I though that the recipe you had chosen was going to be the preserved lemons. My lemons are still aging and won’t be ready for a few more weeks…then bring on the recipes!!! These potatoes are simply the best aren’t they. I am partial to potatoes and anything with lemon :-D

    edit 22 April 2008: Our preserved lemons should be ready in a couple of days. And yes, the potatoes are really delicious. Thanks again for the recipe! -ejm

  • Good job managing to keep that oregano alive all winter. I just planted some Greek oregano today, and also Italian Oregano (which was new to me, but I tasted a leaf at the garden center and they do taste quite different!) This sounds like a wonderful meal!

  • ejm

    It was a wonderful dinner, Kalyn. And we were so thrilled to be barbecuing again.

    Make sure your Greek oregano is confined… it will spread like crazy. (Oregano can be as bad as mint)

    Hmmm, I wonder if your Italian oregano really is oregano. The Italian immigrants here sell summer savory (annual that reseeds itself) and label it “oregano”. In fact they insist it IS oregano. (I love summer savory. It’s great with steamed green beans.)

    -Elizabeth

  • Sounds delicious to me :) Thank you for your entry!
    Margot

  • I do similar potatoes – in the oven during winter and on the barbecue during summer… But I’ve never thought of adding fresh lemon juice – that sounds wonderful. I’ll try it next time…which is probably today or tomorrow….
    Wne well done with the oregano!

  • So if you’re BBQing, the snow finally melted, right?! :o)

    That fish looks wonderful and the potatoes sound lip-smackingly good.

  • ejm

    We’ve made potatoes along these lines many times before too, Katie. But never with chicken stock and lemon juice.

    Thank you, Jeanne, it was wonderful! And yes, all that snow we had disappeared amazingly quickly. We were so relieved!

    Thank you, Margot, for hosting and writing up a great roundup.