Sunday, 21 February 2010

My delicious fish dinner (baked striped bass)

My lifetime habit of penny-pinching came in very handy when I moved across the seas to start living on a graduate student's stipend. However, it also cut out certain things from my diet, fresh delicate fishes being one of the first to go. However, sometimes, the purse strings will have to stretch. Especially for fresh striped bass.

This is the easiest preparation there possibly could be. All you need is butter, a little each of basil and parsley, and a little salt.

First, wash the fish briefly under warmish water. Then, carefully take the skin and dark flesh off. Or leave it on if you like. I personally cannot abide the skin or the dark flesh. Then, put a couple of thin slices of butter on an aluminium foil, and sprinkle on a little parsley and basil. Now place the fish on it. Arrange more pats of butter on the fish, and sprinkle generously with parsley and basil. Normally, I would use more spices, but masking the sweet, delicate flavour of striped bass with common spices is an Unthinkable. Never do it. Particularly since you're likely to have paid sixteen bucks or more for a pound of that damn delicate sweetness.

Fish on foil on baking tray.

And once more, with the flash on.

Now, pop it in the preheated oven and cook at 425F for about twenty minutes, although I advise check-ins after fifteen. My butter, I'm ashamed to admit, caught a teensy flame and nearly started burning. And then...

Ta-da! The Stripeness of the Baked Bass!

Nice and flaky. Responds well to a fork.

And oozes melted butter.

Eat with rice, or steamed and buttered greens, or by itself. I ate them with steamed french beans, daubed with butter. I'm becoming SUCH a New-Englander.

And to no one's surprise:


maryland fishing said...

Ahh yes. I know what it's like living off a grad student's stipend. Of course, I come from a family of fisherman, so I had a steady supply of striped bass :). That recipe sounds absolutely delicious and the pictures are making my mouth water. Thank you very much for sharing.

Rimi said...

The pictures on your site are *amazing*. And awe-inducing. AND the people look like they're having an incredibly fun time. What a family to have :D

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you are in Kolkata.
How do you get Haddock or Striped Bass there? Do you?
- Just curious.

Rimi said...

Yes, you do. Haddock is not in much demand, but the bass, called bhetki, is a most beloved Bengali fish. And it isn't as expensive as the US either -- it's served in fish fries and fish kobirajis (a version of the batter-fried fish in fish'n chips) at roadside eateries.