One of the most delicious and healthy Romanian recipes is the carp brine. Today I will tell you some tricks to make it like a sailor's brine because I "stole" the secrets from a very skilled fisherman-chef.
Ideal would be to have a whole carp that it portioned, but works also with carp fillets (I found it on the market). If you have a whole carp, clean it and use the pieces from the belly and tail in brine. Heads are very good used in borsch.
First prepare the brine. Boil the water (about 3 cups), a hot pepper, some sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf (optional), a clove of garlic (optional), some peppercorns, sea salt.
Add 4-5 tablespoons of mashed tomatoes (or thick tomato juice 100 ml) and let boil for 5 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar while boiling.
When ready, cover the pot, to keep the brine hot.
Then start to grill the fish. Add salt before grilling and leave for 20 minutes.
If you fry fillets, it is advisable to smear lightly with oil before grilling because they are very fragile.
Flip the fish when the edges begin to whiten.
Don't grill it for long, because you will transfer it in brine and there will take place the final thermic preparation.
Let the fish boil in brine for a minute, on very small fire, then leave for another 5 minutes long in brine, cover with a lid to steam well and get the flavors of the brine.
The secret of successful brine is to not over prepare the fish. The fish must remain sweet and tender, soaked with the spicy sauce.
Serve with polenta.
Enjoy your meal!