WINE WITH…Striped Bass on Potatoes, Olives and Feta
Atlantic striped bass is a favorite of anglers and diners alike. As a sport fish, it’s known for its tenacity; as a food fish, it’s favored for its mild, slightly sweet flavor and its smooth, flaky texture. Striped bass can be
pan-seared, grilled, steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, or deep-fried. It can be served with all sorts of sauces or flavored with just a squeeze of lemon. It can even be stuffed (with crab imperial, for example). Living in the mid-Atlantic, we enjoy it all sorts of ways, but one of our favorite preparations is this relatively simple but quite elegant dish. The fish is roasted atop a bed of thinly sliced potatoes and black olives, sprinkled with feta cheese. Serve it with a simple green salad and enjoy one of the Atlantic’s finest treats.
Striped Bass On a Bed of Potatoes, Olives, and Feta Cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
Salt and pepper
4 striped bass fillets
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup pitted black Nicoise olives
2 lemons, cut in thin rounds
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Brush the bottom of a shallow baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. (Make sure beforehand that the dish is large enough to hold the fish without the fillets lying on top of each other.) Spread the potatoes in the dish, overlapping them as you go. Sprinkle the potatoes with two tablespoons of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, and sprinkle them with the feta, thyme, oregano. Scatter the olives over the top. Salt and pepper the fish fillets, and place them, skin side up, on the bed of potatoes and other ingredients. Bake for another 20 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven, and peel the skin off of the fillets (It comes off very easily.) Using a spatula, place each fillet atop its own bed of potatoes on individual dinner plates. Garnish with the lemon slices, and serve immediately.
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What all the wines that best complemented the dish had in common was the absence, or at least minimal presence, of oak. We tasted a Chardonnay that might have suited another sort of dish, but whose aggressive oak flavors in this case not only overwhelmed the delicacy of the fish but also added an almost metallic bitterness to it.