If you’re looking for a main meal that is SO easy to cook, tastes delicious, can be adjusted to feed either 2 or 12 people and goes perfectly with a glass of chilled white wine – then this is the dish for you.
Based on a recipe that Jamie makes on The Naked Chef, we have used Gem fish as this is what I could get from Gary, the fish man in Wagga this week. Our good friend, Joffrey proved to be a big help with making sure that all of the pin bones were taken out of the fish fillets. (Is there anything worse than getting a fish bone!?)
The mushrooms in this dish and the flavour they add is out of this world. If you have never used mushrooms in cooking before – start by making this dish! You will not be disappointed. I was able to get the mushrooms from Duffy Brothers in Wagga and Bernardi’s also have a great selection. I used a mixture of Oyster, Shiitake, Enoki and Swiss brown.
gem fish with mushrooms, potatoes & salsa verde (feeds 8 people as a main meal as part of the Italian dinner menu below)
1.5 kilos (three very large fillets) of gem fish, filleted, de-boned, skin left on (you can use other types of fresh, firm white fish fillets such as barramundi, sea bass or cod)
8 medium sized washed potatoes, skin left on and sliced very finely
large tray of a mixture of mushrooms – whatever you can get your hands on (see picture below – I use Oyster, Shiitake, Enoki and Swiss brown)
fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
juice of one lemon
good knob of butter
- In a large roasting dish, lay the sliced potatoes out; sprinkle with Maldon salt and drizzle with olive oil. (NB: because we were cooking for 8 pax, I use two baking dishes to roast the potatoes). You want to cook them until they are nice and crispy. It should take about 20 minutes in a hot oven. I turn them half way.
- In a large frying pan, add a good glug of olive oil and the garlic. Let it cook for a minute, stirring the garlic so as not to let it burn.
- Add the mushrooms (I chop the shiitake and Swiss brown mushrooms and leave the enoki and oyster ones whole) and stir them around. Add salt and pepper. You want them to cook until soft, stirring occasionally. It should take about 8 minutes.
- Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the juice of a lemon and a good knob of butter.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, mix the mushrooms in with the potatoes in the one big baking dish.
- Cut little slits in the fish fillets and put salt and the chopped herbs in to the slits.
- Arrange the fish, skin side up on top of the potatoes and mushrooms.
- Drizzle olive oil on top.
- Put the tray in a hot oven and cook for about 8 minutes or until the fish looks cooked. (You can tell if it is cooked by using a fork to flake the fish. If it comes away easily, its cooked).
- Take the dish to the table and serve straight away with the salsa verde on the side. (Recipe for the salsa verde is below).
Joffrey pictured below, quite happy with himself after his efforts with the potatoes!
This goes so well with the fish and really ‘freshens’ it up. There is a fair bit of chopping involved in this recipe so get out two chopping boards and large kitchen knives, grab some of your guests and put them to work! In my experience, dinner parties are way more fun if you give friends a job to do and get them involved. (Just make sure you are dutifully filling up their glass!)
large handful of flat leaf parsley (more parsley than mint and basil)
large handful of mint
large handful of basil
NB: your ratio of herbs to the rest of the mixture should be about 4:1
8 anchovy fillets
large handful of capers
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
good glug of good quality olive oil
about 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (or to taste)
Salt & pepper
Juice of one or two lemons
- Give one person the job of chopping the herbs. You want them as fine as possible.
- Give one person the job of chopping the anchovies, capers, gherkins, garlic very finely to make a paste almost.
- Throw everything in a mixing bowl and add a very good glug of good quality olive oil. (You want the mixture to be quiet wet).
- Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the fish.