Nigel Slater is one of my favourite food writers. I am so pleased to have permission from his publishers to bring you this recipe Sea Bass with Lemon Potatoes Recipe and is from his book, Tender a collection of over 400 recipes.
As Nigels says, "baking a joint of meat or a large fish on a layer of potatoes is a reliable way of ensuring they stay moist. The juices from the roast are soaked up by the potatoes, making sure that not a drop of flavour is wasted. Large fish such as sea bass and sea bream can be cooked this way as can Cornish mullet. Line-caught, ocean-friendly sea bass is not too difficult to find. I reckon on 1kg fish being enough for two".
This recipe requires you use a whole fish. Do not make it with sea bass fillets as they are too fine and will burn and become tough.
Gather the ingredients.
Set the oven to 200 C/Gas 6. Slice each potato three or four times. If you do this lengthways, you will end up with long elegant pieces.
Warm a couple of tbsp of olive oil in a roasting tin over a moderately hot flame then put the potatoes in and let them colour on both sides. They cook best if you leave them alone for several minutes in between stirring. You want them to be pale gold on both sides.
Cut the lemon in half, then into thick segments. Add to the potatoes with the anchovy and a grinding of black pepper and then pour over the stock.
Lay the fish on top of the potatoes, brush with a little olive oil, then add the herbs and a mild seasoning of salt and black pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven until the flesh will slide easily from the bone in big easy pieces, which will take twenty-five to thirty minutes. Serve the fish with the potatoes and spoon over the stock
Don't forget to check other great recipes from Nigel Slater's great book,
Sea Bass is the best fish for this recipe, but do not be afraid to try other whole fish. The principle of making the dish is the same. Always check to make sure the fish is cooked before serving by ensuring the flesh comes away from the bones easily.
Recipe reproduced with Permission from Fourth Estate