Monday, February 28, 2011

Easy Oven Baked Sea Bass

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a ton of experience with fish.  As a kid, I used to pinch my nose because anything seafood used to smell "fishy" to me.  So the only thing my mom could get us to eat were deep fried fish sticks.  I don't think I really started eating seafood until I was in college and then eventually I tried everything and realized what I was missing out on!

The reason I have been hesitant about cooking fish is because I have lived in cities where you're not allowed to have a grill so you're either sautéing it or baking it in the oven.  Both ways tend to smell up your house and that's one thing I can't stand.  My friend Joanna gave me this recipe and I believe she got it from good ole' Martha Stewart.  I made a couple of tweaks but I completely agree with her that this is one of the best fish recipes I've tried.  The trick is to wrap the fish in parchment paper and then wrap it in foil.  NO SMELL.  So don't be afraid to try this recipe, I guarantee your confidence with fish will be restored!

2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

*(2) 6-8 oz fresh sea bass filets (you can use any firm fish like salmon, halibut, etc)
*Salt & Pepper
*(4) thin wheel lemon slices
*1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
*(4) fresh thyme sprigs
*Splash of dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
*Parchment Paper
*Aluminum Foil
*Lemon Butter sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Go to the grocer and get (2) fresh fish filets.  It is really important to have FRESH fish.  I typically go to Whole Foods because their fish always has great quality.  Yes, it's a bit pricier but it's worth it.  If you don't have a Whole Foods, just ask your fish counter when they got the fish in and smell it.  If it's smells really fishy, it's not fresh.

Roll out some aluminum foil the length of a sheet pan.  Then roll out parchment paper on top.  I know parchment paper is not something everyone typically has in their kitchen.  But it's a good investment.  I bought some at Williams Sonoma 2 years ago and I still have some left.  I also use it to bake cookies, etc.

On top of parchment paper place the fish filets.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then place 2 thyme sprigs length wise on each filet.  Followed by the 2 slices of lemon and red onion slices on each.  Splash a little of the Pinot Grigio enough just to wet both the filets.

Next wrap the fish filets up in the parchment paper like a present.  Then wrap the aluminum foil securely around the packet making sure there's no holes.  Put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  When the fish is done in the oven, open the package slightly with a fork and see if the fish easily "flakes".  It should be tender and easily break off with a fork.

Place the filets on individual plates and you're done!  I added lemon butter sauce on top but it tastes great without it as well.  The recipe is below in my "Chicken Piccata" posting.  Just omit the capers.  Bon Appetit!

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