While Steve was visiting his Dad in Texas, they hauled in a fair catch on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. Steve came home bearing a cooler full of hermetically sealed trout and drum fillets frozen just hours after they’d been caught.
Earlier this week, we defrosted the first packet, which yielded three large fillets. Steve did the honors this week, sautéing garlic and slivered onion in olive oil to pour over the fish, which he planned to bake in some white wine to keep things moist.
“Do you want me to cut you some herbs?” I asked. “Maybe some parsley? Basil? Maybe rosemary?”
“Definitely,” he said, and I headed out to the container festival to gather up what I could. I brought in a healthy handful of each of the three, and washed and chopped them while Steve worked on the onions and garlic.
I’ve never mixed those three herbs in the same dish, but I suggested that we throw the rosemary in with the garlic and onions. I figured it would hold up a little better to the heat than the rest of the herbs. Steve added them to the sizzling pan, and the room filled with that woodsy, rich smell. When it was ready, he poured the mixture over the fish in the baking pan.
We saved the basil and parsley for the end, adding them just after the fish came out of the oven, and letting everything stand long enough for the heat to begin to release the herbs’ essential oils.
The fish tasted clean and fresh, and the herb combination was fantastic. The freshness of the cooler parsley and basil played well against the rosemary notes, which faded further in the background. The wine kept the fish moist, and you can never go wrong with garlic and onions in olive oil. We served it with some barely steamed asparagus sprinkled with kosher salt.
Steve reported that the one leftover fillet warmed up nicely the next day, reheated in a skillet rather than the microwave. He thinks cooking it in something that kept it juicy made the difference overnight.
With plenty of fish left in the freezer, I suspect this preparation will make a return appearance before the summer’s out.
Herbacious Baked Fish
Approximately 1 lb. of white fish fillets (we used a combination of trout and drum)
1 c. of white wine (use something you’d drink)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Three cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 a sweet onion, slivered
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and coarsely chopped
Approximately 1/2 c. each of fresh basil leaves and fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the fillets, then place them in the bottom of the baking pan you wish to use. Pour the wine around the fillets, adding a little more if your pan is large. You want the wine to come up about halfway up the side of the fillets.
Heat a skillet and add the olive oil. When the oil’s hot, add the garlic and onion to the pan and sauté until they are golden and soft. Add the rosemary and sauté about two minutes longer, until fragrant. Pour the oil, garlic, onion and rosemary over the fish, distributing it evenly.
Bake the fish until it flakes easily with a fork, approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. You don’t want to overcook this, but the wine will keep the fish from drying out, so you have some room for error here. If the wine dries up, add more to the pan to keep things moist.
When the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and top it with the chopped basil and parsley. Let stand for five minutes, then add fresh ground pepper to taste and serve immediately.
This post is part of Weekend Herb Blogging over at Kalyn’s Kitchen. Go check out all the other great recipes from this week!