David and I are not normally fish eaters. Sometimes we think we’d like to be–and we’ll both enjoy restaurant Fish & Chips from time to time, but fish is not normally something I make at home.
The success of the previous Barefoot Contessa recipe, Coq au Vin, and the desire to be people who actually eat fish led to me making Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Fish for dinner this week. I served it with Skillet Smashed Potatoes from 101 cookbooks.
The fish was easy enough to cook, and the sauce was creamy and tangy. The first couple of bites were impressive, but somehow, David and I both lost interest in the dish pretty quickly. It was a nice recipe, and maybe people who enjoy fish more than we do would enjoy it more. One of these times, I’ll remember that we don’t really like fish!
Mustard Roasted Fish
From the Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook. Serves 4
- 4 (8 ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper (tilapia was what we used)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces creme fraiche
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons drained capers
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the creme fraiche, two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it’s barely done. Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce form the pan spooned over the top.
Note: Even though David and I were not huge fans of this recipe, our friend Leah liked it a lot, even though she is not a big fan of mustard. She likes fish a lot, an was impressed with this preparation. Because she doesn’t like mustard, I baked her a “safer” fish with olive oil, lemon pepper, and garlic, and she liked that, but she loved the mustard roasted fish.
I probably won’t make this again, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth making if you do like fish.
Skillet Smashed Potatoes
- one small bag of small potatoes (I used Russian fingerling potatoes, but baby yukon golds or baby reds could work here )
- salt & pepper
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
Start by placing the potatoes in a large saucepan. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover with water. Don’t peel the potatoes, because the skin helps keep the potatoes together. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil until they are tender enough to slide a knife in easily. It is important not to over-boil them, for golf ball size potatoes about 10 minutes or a little less. Drain the potatoes.
Heat the olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Keep in mind it needs to be big enough to hold the potatoes, which double in size when they are smashed. Smash each potato with a masher or the bottom of a heavy glass. Season with salt and pepper and cook until crisp, and them turn and cook the other side. Sprinkle with chives, fresh herbs, or any seasonings you like and serve.
Note: These were good, but not great. They turned out mostly like fried potatoes, which are good, but a lot less work than par-boiling and smashing them and all that, so I’d probably just fry the potatoes the next time.