That’s how it was for me on a recent Friday evening when Ilise, mom-in-law Ina and I tested a new recipe for red grouper, that week’s selection from Hooked on Fish, before attending a much-anticipated play at the Goodman Theatre, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
The fish dish includes classic Mediterranean flavors (olives, capers, thyme, olive oil and tomatoes) and an easygoing type of white fish that’s hard to get wrong. And when you add slices of roasted potatoes, well, that’s pretty close to a perfect meal. Just take a look at the photo above.
How we prepared it:
- Baked Grouper with Potatoes and Tomato-Olive Sauce – recipe from Hooked on Fish
- Tossed green salad
Please click on the pictures to enlarge and read the captions.
Slightly modified from Hooked on Fish
|Printable recipe - Baked Grouper with Potatoes and Tomato-Olive Sauce|
|File Size:||628 kb|
- 1 cup of good quality fresh, diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 garlic clove, unpeeled, mashed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ pounds grouper fillet, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ pound potatoes, cut into thin rounds – Cook’s note: I recommend pre-cooking the potatoes in the microwave for 2-3 minutes before slicing and baking with fish. See note below.
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, garlic clove, and olive oil in a bowl.
- Ideally let it sit, covered, for a few hours to marinate the flavors. If you’re short on time, no worries, it may be served right away.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large ovenproof dish or baking sheet with parchment.
- If possible, arrange the potatoes on the paper-lined baking dish in concentric circles to form a large circle. I was unable to make this work – my pan was not large enough to make a large circle so I just tossed potato slices all over the pan.
- Season very lightly with salt and add pepper. Bake the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until browned.
- Cook’s note: If you are able to pre-cook the potatoes in the microwave, then the baking time could be anywhere from 5-10 minutes so keep an eye on it. I did not pre-cook the potatoes when I made this dish and it took way more than 15 minutes for the potatoes to be done enough to add fish. Always test and taste to determine degree of doneness.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the fish.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and put the fish in the middle of the potatoes, return fish and potatoes to the oven, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so, depending on the thickness of the fish. Cook’s note: Reiterating the recipe instruction to determine cooking time based on size of the fish filets. Mine were quite thick and took more like 18 minutes.
- Remove dish from oven. You can transfer the food onto a platter but serving the fish and potatoes on the parchment makes a dramatic presentation.
- Next, remove the unpeeled garlic from the sauce, then spoon the sauce over the fish and potatoes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
I may have gone into my first forkful of Baked Grouper with Potatoes and Tomato-Olive Sauce with a less than fair-and-balanced attitude because, for me, the timing was so far off from the recipe. (My potato slices must have been way too thick because they never did get tender enough despite roasting twice as long. And my timing with the fish was off too.) I liked the idea of the dish but it didn’t quite click for me. No good reason for it, and everyone else loved it. I’d happily try it again with a different set of expectations.
Sigh. Sometimes the price of a drama school education is being too darn picky. (Not saying I’m right, just semi-professionally contrary.)