Saturday, August 22, 2009

Scott's First Catch (Striped Bass en Papillote)

Tom sees my line tension and yells "you've got Moby Dick on your line!" It was totally awesome. Thanks Tom for teaching me. I'm hooked.

Sea Bass en Papillote
an recipe
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4, 6 oz fillets striped bass* (½ to 1¼ inches thick), with skin
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
8 thin lemon slices (less than ¾ inch thick; from 1 large lemon)
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1½ Tbsp drained bottled capers

* black sea bass may be substituted

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil.

Pat fish dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange fillets, skin sides down, in 1 layer in center of foil on baking sheet and slide 2 lemon slices under each fillet. Arrange 2 thyme sprigs on top of each fillet.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are softened, about 1 minute. Stir in capers.

Spoon hot tomato mixture over fish, then cover with another sheet of foil, tenting it slightly over fish, and crimp edges together tightly to seal.

Bake until fish is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness of fish); check by removing from oven and carefully lifting up a corner of top sheet of foil, pulling up sides of bottom sheet to keep liquid from running out. If fish is not cooked through, reseal foil and continue to bake, checking every 3 minutes.

Transfer fillets with lemon slices to plates using a spatula (be careful not to tear foil underneath) and spoon tomatoes and juices over top. Serve immediately, discarding thyme before eating.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Butter-Crumb Cod Casserole

Looking for another way to cook a flaky white fish? This Casserole is easy and brings in flavors that make it more that just another breadcrumb fish recipe. We used saltines & panko crumbs, because that's what we had on-hand, and it was very nice. I can see that Ritz would be good (though we're not allowed to have them in the house because they're evil).

1 1/4 cup coarsely crushed cracker crumbs (Ritz or Town House provide the best flavor)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green (bell) pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green or mild onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
3 or more drops Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 pound fresh or frozen cod cut into 1 inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, adding fish last.

Mix well. Turn into 1 1/2 quart buttered baking dish. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until fish flakes easily and crumbs are golden brown. Can be served with lemon wedges.