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Psari Magioneza (Fish with Mayonnaise) and Fish Soup

Fish Mayonnaise

 

Fish is one of the healthiest foods in the modern diet with Omega 3 fatty acids. It is high in protein and important vitamins, and, of course, it is low in fat.

Cypriot cuisine has been influenced through the centuries by the many conquerors.   The most important influence though, came by the ancient Greeks. Since ancient Greeks came to the island, until nowadays, Greek language and Greek civilization and culture are dominant on the island. Most of the Cypriot recipes are similar to the Greek ones but as in many other parts of Greece, there are a few differences in the ingredients used.

Cyprus cuisine has also been influenced by the Persians, the Arabs, the Latins, the Turks, the British, the Armenians and the Maronites and believe me, many more. Some of these recipes are now considered as traditional and Fish Mayonnaise is one of them, which we used to do often when we had buffet dinners.
You have all probably heard of the Greek Mediterranean Diet. Researches have shown over the past forty years that the Greek traditional diet is one of the healthiest of the whole world. Despite our very bad habits, (low physical exercise and too much smoking), Greek men have the highest survival age in Europe (75 years) and women are fifth in Europe (80,3 years).

It has been established that the consumption of olive oil is very healthy as it lowers the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. This is due to the fact that olive oil has high concision of natural antioxidants and nourishing compoments (e.g. polyfenoles, flavonoidi, carrotins etc.).

A correct and balanced nutrition necessarily contains olive oil on a daily basis. The essence and taste, which gives to all foods, is unique. However, let’s not forget that like all oils, olive oil as well, is a fat and must be used in moderation. The oils contain fatty acids, which can be separated in three kinds: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The animal fats contain mostly saturated fat acids, the seed oils polyunsaturated, while the olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fat acids up to 83%. The oleic acid, the main component of olive oil, comprises such a monounsaturated fat acid.

As the main source of monounsaturated fat acids, the olive oil helps:

  • The lower of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in blood.
  • The maintenance in the blood of “good” cholesterol (HDL).
  • The good function of the intestine.
  • The prevention of cardiovascular diseases and the protection of the organism from the coronary disease due to the strong antioxidants it contains.
  • The cure of gastric and duodenum ulcer, as it eases the digestion.
  • The decline of the gastric juices.
  • The best immersion of calcium by the organism.
  • The correct metabolism of diabetics and consequently the balance of the diabetes rates.
  • The prevention from cancer.
  • While last but not least … it revitalizes the skin.

The information given above have been translated from a Greek site inCardiology.Gr (their link has been removed) and I wanted to justify the use of mayonnaise, which is considered by many people as not healthy. I have also drawn and translated the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid where you can see the structure of this diet.

 

 

The fish mayonnaise is made by boiling vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and beetroot and fish.  The fish is cleaned from skin and bones and is mixed with some of the vegetables and an olive oil mayonnaise.

Psari Magioneza (Fish with Mayonnaise)

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time:  50 minutes

Serves:  6

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ kilos (3.30 lbs) of fresh or frozen fish suitable for soup, I use red frozen fish
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 – 2 sprigs of celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium beetroot, boiled
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 2 potatoes
  • A few leaves of parsley
  • 1 cup of homemade olive oil mayonnaise

Directions:

  1. Boil beetroot with the skin and then peel or use preserved beetroot.
  2. Ask your fish monger to scale and gut the fish.  If using frozen, thaw from the previous night, scale and clean the fish.  Wash and boil fish for 10 – 15 minutes.    If any froth forms remove it with a slotted spoon and add salt.  When done remove it to a colander and strain the broth.   Add the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery and boil until soft.
  3. Under running water remove skin and bones from the fish and make sure than even the smallest bones are removed.
  4. Place fish in a platter. Mash the potatoes and onion and mix with a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise and the fish. Add salt and pepper and mix all the ingredients. Shape on the platter and cover with the remaining mayonnaise.
  5. Decorate with the beetroot, carrots, capers and parsley or as you please and place in the refrigerator before serving.
  6. The rose is made by peeling a tomato the whole way round and using the skin to form the flower. Of course this is just for decoration and it is not edible.

 

Psarosoupa (Fish Soup)

Leftover fish broth may be used to make Psarosoupa (fish soup) or used as stock in other fish recipes, instead of water.

psarosoupa fish soup

During winter I make a soup out of the broth.

After removing the fish to make the mayonnaise,  strain the broth to make sure that no bones have remained and add a few tbsp extra virgin olive oil.   For each cup of broth, add 1 tbsp carolina rice (or other rice suitable for soups).

Add the peeled tomato, which was used for decorating the mayonnaise, after blending it.    Cook the rice for about 15 minutes, add salt and pepper.  Mash the boiled potato and onion, add them to the soup and cook for five more minutes

Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and freshly grated black pepper on top.  Alternatively, you can make an avgolemono sauce to add to the soup.

 

These and more recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

signature Ivy

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17 Responses

  1. Corinne

    I love learning about the culinary history of different regions and how wars/visitors have influenced the local cuisine…
    The mayonnaise looks wonderful, it reminds me a bit of the herring-salad I eat during the holidays with our German grandfather.

  2. giz

    Wow, wow, wow – Ivy – you knocked me over – what an incredible dish and a totally unbelievable presentation. Please don’t tell me this is something you just whipped up while watching a t.v. show or I’ll cry.

    Thank you for your submission to Tried Tested and True 2. Did I happen to say WOW??

  3. Lulu Barbarian

    Hi Ivy, I’ve been contemplating a recipe for fish mayonnaise, but I don’t know what one does with it after one makes it. Eat it with bread? Use it as hair conditioner?

  4. Peter G

    Is the fish mayonnaise served as a side dish when having it on a buffet? I suppose you spread it on bread etc? Mmmm..I bet it would be nice with potatoes. As for ψαροσουπα thats another Greek favourite…but I let my mother make it as she does a better job with it!

  5. Bellini Valli

    The Mediterranean Diet is world renowned. If only we would follow it to the letter we would all be so much healthier. So glad you were able to ener this event sis it is always fun to see what you come up with:D

  6. Ivy

    Corine, Giz, Lulu, Peter G and Val you have the Yum Yum Blog award!! Congratulations.

    @ Corinne : Thanks Corinne and I’d love to learn more about the herring-salad.
    @ Giz: Thanks a lot Giz. It means a lot to me to hear this from you. This is a recipe I know since I was a child and my mother used to make it.

    @ Lulu : Hair conditioner? Must try it next time (lol)

    @ Peter: It’s a side dish and it’s just like a shrimp salad or crab salad. As we usually have it as a main dish, that’s why I add the mashed potato inside, so that it is more filling. Peter, at least you you give some credit to your mum.

    @ Val: You are so right. I try as much as I can to follow it BUT where I cannot resist are the desserts. I am so glad I entered the event and met Giz.

  7. Ben

    Yup, olive oil is one of the best ingredients we can use in our diets. This mayonnaise looks really good. That would be a great addition to any cuisine.

  8. Ivy

    Thanks Ben, it’s nice to see you back.

  9. Bobby

    Fish mayo? Hmm interesting, I have never heard of this before! It sounds pretty good… props for posting the unique recipe.

  10. Ivy

    Thanks Bobby. That’s what I like from blogging: we alllearn something new everyday.

  11. Cakelaw

    Your decoration with the tomato rose is just gorgeous. I am so lazy with food presentation – I am so exhausted after having made it that I just dive in.

  12. Ivy

    Cake, sometimes I also don’t bother at all about presentation because after finishing everyone is hungry to eat but as you know we feast with the eyes first … so once in a while I remember this.

  13. Swati: Sugarcraft India

    Hey Ivy,
    Love the new profile picture of yours.. You look cool!!
    This method of choosing for the award was a smart one..Really saves the problem of choosing whom to give and whom not to as there are so many that you want to give and are so so deserving!!

  14. Sam Sotiropoulos

    My aunt makes this dish and I love it! Good stuff.

  15. Ivy

    Swati, thanks. It’s because I’m in the beach mood and as for the awards I believe that the people I chose to be my blogging friends all deserve it and I am not saying this to have everyone pleased.

  16. Ivy

    Sam, it’s a bit messy for the person preparing it but those who eat it just love it. Imagine all fish without bones (lol).

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  18. […] was not planning in making soup today but I was cooking fish, to make fish mayonnaise. After this conversation I was inspired and tried to recreate the universe by making my own soup […]

  19. John Adhikary

    I remember having this when I was in Europe last year. Its really delicious as it looks in this picture. The mayonnaise adds to the taste of the whole thing.

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