This is a dish that a friend first made for me and now I make it for friends. It’s fancy-looking but easy enough for quick weeknight cooking. Serve it with a nice salad and a dinner is ready in half an hour.
The big flavor here belies the ease of preparation, though. That’s always the best kind of recipe, wouldn’t you say?
In fact, I should ask all of you, my favorite home cooks: what’s your favorite little-work-big-reward recipe?Baked Fish and Potatoes in a Saffron-Tomato Broth: Thinly slice two big potatoes. (I used Yukon Golds and my cheapo mandoline, but you can also slice your potatoes as thinly as possible by hand.) Drizzle/rub them with olive oil and a pinch of salt, then spread them out in a 9×13 pan. Put them in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, saute two thinly-sliced onions in olive oil over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt. When they begin to brown, add two minced cloves of garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then add 2 c. vegetable broth, 1 Tbsp. tomato paste, a good pinch of saffron threads, another and a few dried hot chiles. Bring a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and season to taste with additional salt if needed (especially if your broth is unsalted).
When the potatoes have been baking for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven. Spread 4-6 white fish fillets (I like cod or halibut) out on the potatoes, then top with the sauce. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so, or until the fish is just cooked through and flakes easily when you test it with a knife.