Pescado al Horno Els Pescadors (Fish Baked with Potatoes, Onions, and Wine)
Adapted from ¡Delicioso! (Knopf, 1996)
Fish (whatever is freshest that day) baked over a bed of thinly sliced potatoes is a favorite in Catalunya, Spain. This version from Els Pescadors, a fine seafood restaurant commanding wonderful views of the sea and of the small port of L’Escala, is quite exceptional. Penelope Casas and Antonio Buendia chose a striped sea bass for their Feast of Three Kings dinner.
- 1 pound potatoes, in 1/8-inch slices
- 1 small to medium-sized onion, slivered
- About 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 pound tomato, cut into very thin wedges
- 2 pounds turbot or other firm-flesh fish steaks like halibut, 1 inch thick
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced rosemary leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced marjoram leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
Arrange the potatoes and onion in about 3 layers in a greased baking pan, sprinkling each layer with oil (a total of 3 tablespoons), salt, and pepper. Scatter the tomato wedges over the potatoes, cover tightly with foil, and bake in a 350ºF oven about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender. Meanwhile, sprinkle the fish steaks on both sides with salt and let sit.
After the vegetables have cooked, place the fish over the potatoes, brush it with about 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, and lemon juice. Pour on the wine. Dust the fish with bread crumbs and cook until the fish is just done, about 15 minutes, basting several times.