Whole Snapper Baked on Potatoes and Capsicums
Cook Time 1.5 hr
Two 500g whole snapper, cleaned and scaled
150ml extra virgin olive oil
1.5kg brown onions, finely sliced
2 red capsicums, seeded, membrane removed and finely sliced
2 green capsicums, seeded, membrane removed and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
7 fresh bay leaves
Fine sea salt
100ml ajo y perejil (chopped garlic and parsley)
Olive oil, to drizzle
4 lemons, sliced
200ml fish stock
4 waxy potatoes (such as Nicola), sliced into 5mm thin rounds
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
100ml white wine
Sea salt flakes to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Remove the fins, and the spines along the back of the fish with a pair of kitchen scissors and discard. Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.
To make the fondo, heat 80ml of the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. Cook the onion, capsicum, garlic, three of the bay leaves and a pinch of salt for 15 – 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
Put the fish in a large bowl with several pinches of sea salt and the ajo y perejil and rub all over the fish. Season the cavity of the fish with a little salt, a few slices of lemon and a bay leaf.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the base of a large baking tray. Lay about a quarter of the fondo in the tray. Pour the fish stock and white wine over the fondo, lay the potato on top then season. Lay the remaining fondo over the potato, sprinkle with the tomato and almost all the remaining lemon slices – reserve some to dress the fish – and season once more. Place the fish on top of the lemon slices and dress the fish with the reserved lemon slices. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the fish. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes when tested gently with a fork.
Remove just the fish, cover with foil and place near the oven or stove top to keep warm. Return oven dish to the oven for 20 minutes or until the potato is soft. Sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt flakes and serve.