Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baked Whitefish with Vegetables

This is way more delicious than its title would have you believe. It's lovely for a winter night's supper.

4 potatoes
1 onion
2 carrots
1 to 1 1/2 cups green peas or cooked green beans
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
4 to 5 pounds of whitefish (cod is wonderful here), whole or in slices with its skin on
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly into rounds; peel the onion and slice it thinly into rings; peel the carrots and slice them thin, lengthwise. In just enough salted water to cover them, parboil these vegetables (plus the green beans if they aren't already cooked) until nearly done, but still a bit hard. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, reserve the liquid. If you are using peas or cooked green beans, add them to the other vegetables now.

Lay the fish in a buttered baking dish; place the drained vegetables on and around it. Dot with lots of butter, using the whole quarter pound. Do not use margarine, it doesn't work in this recipe. Fill the dish to a depth of 1/2 inch with the liquid from the vegetables.

Bake uncovered at 375 until the fish can be flaked with a fork, about 30 minutes. Check a couple of times during baking, and baste with the liquid in the pan. If it should dry out during cooking, add more of the reserved liquid. When the fish is done there should be very little liquid left. The potatoes should be crisp and brown. If necessary, place under the broiler to finish browning.

The original recipe for this dish is called Mama's Baked Whitefish with Vegetables, and comes from Elsie Masterton's Blueberry Hill Cookbook.

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