The following originally appeared on 12/8/08 at Exit 51.
Battle Barefoot Contessa
Are you tired of hearing me talk about the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook yet? I hope not.
Before I was lucky enough to snag it from The Washington Post Food Chat, I had downloaded the recipe for Mustard Roasted Fish. It screamed Easy Weeknight Meal that must be tried as soon as possible. So once the Thanksgiving madness was behind me, I put it on the menu. And you know what, my instincts were spot on.
Let me say it again, this is an Easy Weeknight Meal. It’s the kind of dish that tastes like it took hours but really only needs about five minutes of your time. As the Barefoot Contessa herself would say, how easy is that?
In the time it took for the fish to cook in the oven, I had my grill pan going on the stovetop, pan roasting some asparagus. If I had really been thinking, I would have put on a pan of water and made some quinoa. That didn’t occur to me until the timer had gone off so the best I could do was some microwave brown rice. Still, in less than thirty minutes, dinner was on the table. Yes, you read that correctly. From prep to table, a complete meal in less than thirty minutes.
Mine might not look as pretty as the picture in the cookbook, but if the empty plates were any indication, Battle Barefoot Contessa was a success.
Mustard Roasted Fish
From Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics
- 4 skin-on mild white-fleshed fish fillets, such as black rockfish or Alaskan red snapper (6 to 8 ounces each)
- Kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the sauce
- 2 to 3 medium shallots
- 1 to 2 teaspoons capers
- 8 ounces creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or have a baking dish ready that is large enough to hold the fish in a single layer (the fillets can overlap slightly).
Season the fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them skin side down on the sheet (or in the dish).
Mince the shallots (to yield 2 tablespoons) and drain the capers (to taste); place both in a medium bowl, then add the creme fraiche, the water, both of the mustards, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine. Spoon the sauce over the fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is just barely cooked through.
Serve hot or at room temperature, with sauce from the pan (or dish) spooned over the top.