"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lemon, Onion, and Fresh Herb Stuffed Striped Bass Roasted to Perfection

On a day light today -- where you wish you had 5 extra hours in the day or wish you were on some tropical island somewhere sipping on pina coladas -- having a comforting meal makes the whole day seem like a blurr.  But, having a delicious meal that is easy to make, simple, and packed with flavor, is icing on the cake.

Tonight, I made one of my favorites: Roasted fish.  This time, I roasted a whole Striped Bass.  No worries. . . It's on the "Green List" of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, as my environmentally-conscious daughter often reminds me.  This fish was simple and fast to make, and mouth-wateringly delicious. As a side dish, we had some mashed yams/sweet potatoes that I made last night -- another easy to make and to store side dish.  As my husband thankfully commented on at least two occasions during his meal: "This fish is buttery and really tasty. Thank you Babe!" See the recipe below next time you are in the mood for a fresh and healthy, yet comforting, meal:

  • 1 whole Striped Bass (~ 2-3 lbs).  Have your butcher clean and scale the fish, with head on, and cut a few slits through the skin on each side.  [I got my fish at Berkeley Bowl, and the butchers there are pretty helpful.  All I do at home is rinse the fish under cold water with some lemon juice.]
  • 1 whole yellow onion (sliced in 1/4 inch rounds).
  • 1 lemon (sliced).
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled).
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme. (I like the flavors of lemon thyme; use dry herbs if you don't have fresh ones.]
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter (cut into small cubes).
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste).
  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Rinse fish under cold water (with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice).
  • Place some aluminum foil in a glass baking dish (or cookie sheet).
  • Drizzle some oil on top of the foil, and about 1/2 of the cut-up cubes of butter.
  • Place fish on top of the foil.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper (inside and out).
  • Place the onions, lemons, garlic, and herbs inside the fish. [Try not to over stuff it. If you have too much, arrange them around the fish in the dish.]
  • Drizzle the rest of the olive oil on top of the fish.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the butter on top of the fish.
  • Place in the oven (uncovered) and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the fish is flaky and white.
  • Serve with rice, vegetables, or your favorite side dishes.
NOTE: There may be some small bones, so be careful if giving it to children.

For the mashed sweet potatoes/yams, just bake the yams in a 350º until soft (just like you would bake regular potatoes).  Wait until they are cool enough to peal, and mash.  Place the peeled yams in a large bowl.  Mix in some cinnamon powder (to taste), vanilla extract (the real stuff, not imitation), and brown sugar (just about a Tablespoon).  Stir in some unsalted butter (about 1 Tablespoon).  Or, for something real decadent and a little creamier, stir in about 1/4 cup of Mascarpone Cheese (available in the specialty cheese section of most grocery store including Trader Joe's).  Voilà!

Here is to a happy week.

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel

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