The image is of the entrée resting on the range surface of the old Magic Chef after it had been removed from the oven. It was just before the real operation actually began. But it wasn’t so much the filleting that was a challenge, rather it was the inevitable encounter with the bones. Somewhere through the meal we both decided that it was good to serve whole fish occasionally, for the flavor, the aesthetic, and the experience, but working with fillets was so much more relaxing all around.
One of the fish, along with the contorno, appears (on one of the two large plates which I had to pull out from the bottom of the cupboard) in the photo which follows this description of its preparation:
- well-matured nutty Ruby Crescent fingerlings from Berried Treasures, boiled, drained, dried, and cut lengthwise, placed on oiled parchment paper in an open enameled cast iron casserole as a bed for two seasoned whole twelve-ounce sea bass from Pura Vida stuffed with branches of thyme from Manhattan Fruit Exchange as well as some chopped Kalamata olives and rinsed salted capers, most of which were scattered on the fish and the potatoes along with more thyme, chopped, before the pan was placed in a 425º oven for about twenty minutes, the pan juices serving as a sauce
- kale from Rogowski Farm, wilted with olive oil in which fresh spring garlic, also from Rogowski Farm, sliced, had been heated, then seasoned with salt and pepper, and drizzled with more olive oil
- the wine was a California white, Akiyoshi Chardonnay Sur Lie Aged 2011, from Naked Wines