Tuesday, March 20, 2007

it ain't pretty

...but it sure is tasty.

Usually when J-Cat is out of town, I don't bother cooking anything that isn't incredibly simple and quick. It's not exactly easy to cook anything of note for only 1 person. But today I was just craving fish, and some whole striped bass at the fish market looked wonderful. It just so happens that a baked whole fish is one of the easiest dishes to cook.

A fish like this calls for a very simple preparation to take advantage of the clean fresh favor. My favorite way to cook a whole fish is to stuff the cavity with any variety of fresh aromatics and simply bake it. Some of my favorite stuffing combinations are scallions and ginger, leeks and paprika, lemon and thyme, or lemon and fennel. Last night I decided I wanted lemon and fennel.

I don't use any particular recipe for this fish, I just checked several baked whole fish recipes to determine the ideal temperature and cooking time. Click through for my recipe:


1 1.5-2 lb whole striped bass (a whole red snapper would be just as good)
1/2 medium fennel bulb, sliced very thin
1 small lemon, sliced very thin
olive oil for greasing pan

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking pan large enough to hold the whole fish. Rinse the fish, including the cavity, with cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with the fennel and lemon slices. Tie securely with butcher's twine to prevent the stuffing from spilling out. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place on the greased pan. Cook on the middle oven rack for 15 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the fish. Figure approximately 15 minutes per pound. A 2 pound fish should serve as many as 4 people depending on what you serve it with, but in my house it only serves 2...

I love to serve this with coconut rice, which is simply basmati rice steamed in coconut milk instead of water.


B said...

Does Opaw get to taste?

faycat said...

I offered it, but she just sniffed and looked at me. I think she was trying to say "What's this crap and where is the ice cream?"