Monday, January 30, 2012

Whole Fish Know How

When it comes to fish, its hard to beat the ease of preparing it whole.  A more concentrated flavor is the by product of less work and less fuss.  Here's a simple method using whole branzino.

A 1 1/2-2 lb whole fish that has been gutted but with the head and tail still attached will feed 2 people.  

Branzino en Papilotte
One 1 1/2 -2 pound fish, gutted
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 sprigs each fresh dill and parsely
1/2 lemon sliced plus extra for serving

  • Preheat oven to 425˚F.  
  • Lay the fish on a large piece of aluminum foil.  
  • Drizzle olive oil on both sides and on the inside of the fish.  Stuff lemon slices and herbs in cavity and close foil over fish, sealing tightly.  
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until fish flakes.  
  • Use a spatula to help lift the fillet off the bone.  Strip away the large bone and lift out the bottom fillet.  Serve with extra lemon slices.  
  • Even though you have de-boned the cooked fish, use your fork and knife to look for and pull away smaller bones.
This method can be used for fish fillets or fish steaks.  Lay the filling on top of the fish and adjust the time-- 10-12 minutes for a thin fillet of pollack or flounder, 25-35 for a thicker tuna or salmon steak.  Try other herbs or flavored oils.