ITo me, serving whole fish is the best (and easiest) way to cook – presenting it to friends or family makes it feel like a party. I recently had a beautiful gilt-head sea bream from a local fisherman; I cooked one for supper with a fish version of classic baked apples, and here I made a version of the dish with monkfish. You can use any meaty fish for this, such as bass, turbot, or catfish.
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Six to eight
For the fisherman’s potatoes
- 2-3 large baked potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 liters of fish soup or fish broth, as needed
- A few knobs of butter
For the fish
- 1 monkfish, sea bream or other whole fish weighing about 1.5 to 1.8 kg, trimmed (I removed the head of my monkfish to fit in the dish)
- Extra virgin rapeseed oil, for watering
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C / 180 ° C fan / gas 6.
- In a roasting or baking dish – large enough to possibly contain the fish – arrange two-thirds of the sliced potatoes in two layers, layering them on top of each other, then scatter them over the onion and create a another layer of overlapping potatoes. Cover with the fish soup or broth and put the butter on it. Bake for about an hour, basting the potatoes occasionally during cooking.
- After an hour, turn the oven to 240 ° C / 220 ° C fan / gas 8, or the hottest setting your oven will go to.
- Score the fish several times on one side with a sharp knife, then lay it on top of the potatoes. Season the ridged side of the fish and drizzle with a little rapeseed oil. Return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, then spread over the rosemary and return to the oven for a few minutes.
- Test the fish by inserting a knife into the incisions; if it comes off the bone easily, it is ready. Serve immediately giving people some of the fish with the potatoes, onions and juice.