Baked Bass with Fingerling Potatoes

If you’re single, and dinner usually consists of whatever you can find in the fridge (eaten while leaning against the sink), it’s time for a change.

In a world of immense poverty of both food and of spirit, a meal should be a celebration of the blessings of life. You should always treat yourself and your body well.

In The Pleasures of Cooking for One, a cookbook that celebrates the joys of cooking in small quantities, Judith Jones provides recipes for fabulous meals, with variations for “second and third rounds”””Jones’ clever term for leftovers.

This recipe for Baked Bass with Fingerling Potatoes includes a “second round” in the form of delicious Fish Cakes. Celebrate yourself!

Baked Bass with Fingerling Potatoes

Serves one

Cook with extra-virgin olive oil for best results!

You’re bound to have leftover fish. Save about 3/4 cup to make fish cakes later in the week.

  • 1 whole bass (black, sea or striped),
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 or 4 fingerling potatoes (5 ounces)
  • 1 small zucchini (about 5 ounces)
  • 4 oz red bell pepper, washed and cut into 1 inch squares
  • 4 oz yellow bell pepper, washed and cut into 1 inch squares
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus a few whole sprigs (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon or dill
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Rinse and dry fish, and rub salt (about 3/8 teaspoon) and half of olive oil over it.

Peel fingerlings; cut lengthwise into quarters. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Toss potatoes, zucchini and peppers in remaining oil and season lightly with salt and pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon of each). Spread vegetables in the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold bass.

Fill cavity of fish with scallions and chopped herbs. Lay fish on top of vegetables and sprinkle with lemon juice and a little salt. Add sprigs of herbs (if using); bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until flesh is opaque. Transfer whole fish with vegetables to a plate.

Second Round: Fish Cakes

Serves one

If you want the outside of your fish cakes to be very crusty, brush them with beaten egg and dredge them in about 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs. These light breadcrumbs give the fish cakes a wonderful, crispy finish. If desired, you may also vary the seasoning: Add fresh dill, tarragon or chives, in addition to the scallions and ginger, to the fish mixture.

  • 3/4 cup flaked cooked fish (see Baked Bass with Fingerling Potatoes recipe above)
  • 3/4 cup mashed cooked potatoes
  • 1 or 2 small scallions, including tender green part, finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger, plus more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Light olive oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix fish and potatoes with a fork. If the fish has been fried, scrape away the crusty exterior before flaking because you want the cakes to be smooth inside. Mix in ginger with about 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, combining ingredients with fork. If desired, add more of each to taste.

Form the mixture into two round patties about 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Heat butter and/or oil (using a mixture of both will help prevent the butter from burning) in a medium skillet over medium heat; when sizzling, lay fish cakes in skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve with lemon wedges (if using) on the side.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is  “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

About The Kitchen Diva

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

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