This meal, or variations of it, is one of our favorites, visited originally after I saw the Mark Bittman recipe in the Times 15 years ago (By the way, I’ve learned to use only about two thirds of the suggested amount of olive oil; any more than that and you’ll probably find the potatoes swimming in it at the end). We never tire of the dish, and only partly because it can be prepared with so many different kinds of fish, basically any white fish. In Bittman’s list, “Monkfish works very well . . . . But other fillets will give similar results, including red snapper, sea bass, pollock, wolffish, even catfish.”
This time it seemed even more delicious than usual. The fish has to be absolutely fresh, and it helps when the olives are right, and when the potatoes end up slightly crisp on the edges (I almost never peel potatoes anyway, and certainly not for this recipe).
I served Brussels sprouts along with the entrée. They roasted in the oven for the same total time as the fish and potatoes.
It’s a meal which is really quite simple, and super super.
- the hake fillet was from Pura Vida, the olives were Gaeta, from Whole Foods, the two tubers were Reba potatoes from Garden of Spices Farm, and the seven fresh bay leaves were from the Westside Market
- the Brussels sprouts, from Central Valley Farm, tossed with olive oil, freshly-ground black pepper, and a generous amount of salt, then roasted
- the wine was a French white, Val de Loire, Chateau de la Presle, Touraine 2013