Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Recipe: Quick Baked Fish with Fennel, Olive Oil & Lemon

Serves 4

This is an interesting technique, the fish is oven-steamed, with just a tiny bit of liquid, thus retaining all of its own juices. Traditionally the packages would be made with banana or other large leaves, and they would be buried in hot ashes. Foil is much more convenient, if not quite as interesting or flavorful. If you make this with fillets, the cooking time will be under 10 minutes. Serve with Peasant-Style Potatoes (p. 477) and a lightly dressed vegetable.

1 3-pound or larger grouper, red snapper, black sea bass, or other firm white fish, gutted and scaled, head may be on or off (or fillets as suggested above)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 trimmed and sliced fennel bulb
1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 500. Tear off 2 pieces of aluminum foil, each large enough to wrap the fish, then put one on top of another. Put the fish on the foil, then in a large baking dish.Wrap the fish with salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, fennel bulb and parsley. Fold foil over to seal in the fish.
2. Bake until the fish flakes when probed with a fork, 15 minutes or more;don't overcook. (Unfortunately, there is no way to check the fish without unwrapping, so don't check for at least 15 minutes; rewrap if necessary.)

From: The Best Recipes in the World, by Mark Bittman, Broadway Books, 2005 via Courtney
Note: This variation was excerpted from another recipe on pages 263-4.

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