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Eel Spetzes-style

2 tb Olive oil
2 lb Eel; (moray, conger, OR
- freshwaterer), dressed,
- cut into 2-1/2" thick pcs.
1/2 lb Onions; roughly chopped
3 Sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)
- snipped up & soaked in:
2 tb Boiling water; -OR-
1 tb -Tomato paste instead
3/4 lb Tomatoes
-- skinned, seeded & chopped
1/2 ts Honey
1 tb Fresh thyme; -OR-
1/2 ts -Greek "Mountain" thyme
1 Bay leaf; crumbled
1 Lemon; zested
1 ts Lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves; minced
1 c Finely chopped parsley
-- (flat-leaf type)
1 tb Finely chopped fresh mint
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb Feta cheese, crumbled


In a heavy skillet or wide flameproof casserole, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the eel pieces until well browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and add another tablespoon oil if necessary.

Add the onions and fry gently until translucent. Pound the sun-dried tomatoes, if using, to a paste. Add to the pan with the chopped tomatoes, honey, thyme, bay leaf, lemon zest, and garlic and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.

Return the eel pieces to the sauce and stir in the parsley, mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Move to a baking dish or earthenware casserole, if necessary. Strew with the crumbled feta and shake the dish, so the cheese settles a little. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.


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