Ina Garten made sure to include this quick dish in her new "Back to Basics" cookbook, because "everyone who tastes it goes home and makes it the next day," she says.
We feel that way about a lot of her recipes (and her new kitchen space and garden, which you can read about Thursday in the Home section's interview with her), as Garten's cooking remains straightforward and accessible. The Contessa was delighted to tell us that she got the recipe from the coat-check girl at the hair salon she uses in Paris.
Serve the fish with oven-roasted vegetables such as fennel, green beans or tomatoes. If the book is within your reach already, Garten suggests her Parmesan Broccoli or Orange Pecan Wild Rice as suitable side dishes.
- 4 skin-on mild white-fleshed fish fillets, such as black rockfish or Alaskan red snapper (6 to 8 ounces each)
- Kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon for the sauce
- 2 to 3 medium shallots
- 1 to 2 teaspoons capers
- 8 ounces creme fraiche
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or have a baking dish ready that is large enough to hold the fish in a single layer (the fillets can overlap slightly).
Season the fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them skin side down on the sheet (or in the dish).
Mince the shallots (to yield 2 tablespoons) and drain the capers (to taste); place both in a medium bowl, then add the creme fraiche, the water, both of the mustards, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine. Spoon the sauce over the fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is just barely cooked through.
Serve hot or at room temperature, with sauce from the pan (or dish) spooned over the top.
Adapted from her "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics" (Clarkson Potter, 2008).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.