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Holly Geraci

Roasted Sea Bass


1. Coat the dish with olive oil, rinse off your fish nicely, and hopefully the fishmonger has scaled them. To tell if your fish has scales run your finger from tail to head. If it’s smooth there are no scales. If when you run your finger from tail to head it is rough, you have scales. You will need to take a knife, hold the knife at a right angle to the fish, and scrape from tail to head and you will see all the scales come off. Now you have a whole fish with no scales.

2. Put the fresh rosemary and chives, or some chopped of garlic, inside the fish cavity and lay the fish in the oil-baking dish. Next, put in strips of onion and green pepper, and cherry tomatoes. You can leave the tomatoes whole. You can also put thinly sliced potatoes over the top of everything; it makes a nice crust. For this recipe, I cut a whole russet or baking potato in very thin slices and fried it conserved it as a side dish.

3. So put your Pyrex baking dish with the fish and everything in the oven when it reaches 420, and set a timer for 20 minutes. While the fish is cooking, in a 2-quart saucepan, add 2 cups of water with some salt, bring it to a boil, and put in a cup of quinoa. Cover it, turn the heat down, check it after three or four minutes, stir and put the cover back on and simmer for another five minutes and turn the heat off. You should have a perfect pot of quinoa.

4. By the time the quinoa is done, check on your fish, it should brown on the top of the fish, and certainly, if you have your potatoes on top they should Brown. You do not want undercooked fish. So make sure your oven is hot when you put it on and the fish skin and the potatoes look brownish, like starting to burn, when you take him out.

5. Get a nice serving platter ready. Take your fish and put it on a serving platter, then take-out your vegetables mixed in with quinoa and put them on the platter.

6. Remove the baking dish, now you can fillet the fish, which is very easy. Make a sharp cut by the tail at a right angle. Get a fork and gently lift the top side of the fish away from the bones, you can make a slit where the top fin is. The whole fillet should come right off leaving the head and tail and the skeleton exposed.

7. You can grasp the tail and with the forklifted away from the bottom fillet. You should have fish scales like in the cartoons, where a fish that has been eaten by a cat: only the head skeleton and tail remain. You do not want any bones if you are using this technique, so watch what you are doing, and there are lower fins you will have to remove. Nothing worse than getting a fishbone.

8. Now have a top fillet and a bottom fillet on your serving platter, for each fish. A nice meal for two. If your fish is a little bigger, it can be a meal for three or four, or leftovers. This recipe also works for salmon, swordfish, tilapia, or almost any other kind of fish fillet. The cost of this meal was $25 for the sea bass, and about two dollars’ worth of vegetables in quinoa.

9. If you can drink wine, any wine is fine! I like Southern Italian wines right now, from Sicily or the heel of the boot, Puglia, where the Negroamaro and other great wines can be enjoyed for $15-20 a bottle.