"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Baked Rockfish (Striped Bass) With Fresh Fennel

I usually like my fish grilled, but I thought I would try baking Rockfish because it is sold in nice, thick filets; and because it has a unique, although mild flavor that would be sealed in through baking.

The fresh fennel and the anise and dill seeds used for the sauce go particularly well together, and both complement the fish perfectly.

Baked Rockfish with Fresh Fennel

* 1 1/2 lb. Rockfish filets

* 1 cup fennel “feathers” cut into lg. pieces. You will find fresh fennel bulbs at the supermarket, and at Whole Foods the feathers have not been cut off.


* 1 lg. onion cut into lg. pieces (for baking)

* 1 small onion, chopped fine (for sauce)

* 2 tsp. anise seeds, pounded lightly

* 2 tsp. dill seeds, pounded lightly

* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

* 1/2 – 3/4 cup Half-and-Half

* 1 lg. Tbsp. sour cream

* 1 Tbsp. olive oil

* 1 Tbsp.  unsalted European style butter

* 1 Tbsp. capers

- Wrap the fish filets in two layers of tightly-wrapped tinfoil with the fennel and onions. Sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of fresh black pepper, place in a pie tin or baking dish (uncovered), and put in a preheated 425F oven

- Bake the fish for 45 minutes

- While the fish is baking, sauté the anise and dill seeds and onion in the butter for about 10 minutes low heat until onions are transparent and soft

- Add the Half-and-Half and sour cream whisking constantly to ensure a smooth, mix. Constant whisking at low heat is important, because sometimes the cream separates when sour cream is added.

- Add the grated parmesan cheese and capers and again whisk well until all ingredients are well blended

- Add salt to taste; add a few grindings fresh black pepper.

- Remove the fish from the oven, remove the tin foil and place on serving dish.  The fish should be done, i.e. no ‘rare’ parts, and the fork should go easily through the fish

- Place the sauce evenly on top of the fish, add a few grindings of black pepper, garnish with a few fresh fennel feathers and serve.

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