Baked Striped Bass with Peperonata, Olives, and Saffron Aioli | California Wines

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Baked Striped Bass with Peperonata, Olives, and Saffron Aioli

Baked Striped Bass with Peperonata, Olives, and Saffron Aioli

Braised sweet peppers, potatoes, and tomato make a succulent foundation for baked fish. Sauced with a garlicky, saffron-scented aioli, the dish needs only some crusty bread to complete it. Pair with California Grenache Blanc or Rosé.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, halved and sliced
1 pound (500 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
½ pound (250 g) peeled plum tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 gold or yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley, plus some for garnish
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
Kosher or sea salt
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) white wine
1 dozen black olives, preferably unpitted

4 fillets of striped bass or other firm white fish, 5 to 6 ounces (155 g to 185 g) each

Aioli
1 large clove garlic
Kosher or sea salt
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large, wide Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onion, potatoes, tomato, peppers, parsley, oregano, saffron, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes render their juice and the vegetables begin to soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for a couple of minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Cover the pot and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Stir in the olives. Taste for salt.

Season the fish with salt and place the fillets on top of the bed of vegetables. Add ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water, cover and cook until the fish just flakes, about 10 minutes.

While the fish cooks, make the aioli: In a mortar, pound the garlic and a generous pinch of salt to a paste; alternatively, mince to a paste by hand. Put the egg yolk in a small bowl, add a splash of lukewarm water, and whisk. Begin adding the olive oil gradually—drop by drop at first—whisking constantly. (Recruit a helper to pour while you whisk.) When you have achieved an emulsion, you can add the oil a little faster. When you have incorporated all the oil, whisk in the garlic paste.

When the fish is ready, tilt the cooking pot and draw off about ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the juices. Whisk enough of these flavorful juices into the aioli to make it thin enough to drizzle. Taste for salt.

With a spatula transfer the vegetables and fish to individual shallow bowls or plates. Spoon aioli over the fish. Garnish with more chopped parsley.

/ Pairing Suggestions

Showing 1 - 10 of 31 results
  • Barbera

    Pair with smoked salmon, grilled mozzarella and prosciutto, and flatbread with fresh tomato, basil and roasted garlic. 

  • Cabernet Franc

    Pair with a classic beef stew, aged Gouda, and rosemary-rubbed pork tenderloin.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    Pair with grass-fed beef, whether grilled, roasted, braised or stir-fried.

  • Chardonnay

    Pair with white fish, shellfish and free-range chicken – especially with creamy, buttery sauces.

  • Chenin Blanc

    Pair with seared scallops, chicken in coconut curry, or sliced ripe pears with fresh or slightly aged sheep’s milk cheeses.

  • Dessert wines

    Pair with nuts—almonds and hazelnuts—as well as chocolate tortes, vanilla custard, peach cobbler and ricotta cheesecake. In general, aim to pair sweet dessert wines with sweet desserts, and light dessert wines with light desserts.

  • Gewürztraminer

    Pair with smoked white fish, spicy stir-fried dishes, or slightly sweet desserts.

  • Grenache

    Pair with any grilled shellfish as well as salami, sliced ham and other charcuterie.

  • Grenache Blanc

    Pair with crab, squid, or clams with garlic butter as well as grilled snapper with lemon zest.

  • Malbec

    Pair with classic rack of lamb, beef fajitas, and roasted root vegetables.

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