Baking in a small amount of aromatic liquid,
called braising is a simple and practical way to cook whole fish,
fillets, or steaks. The fish flavors the surrounding liquid as it cooks,
so that the liquid can be used to make quick, savory sauces.
The technique is simple. Butter a baking
dish or pan just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer.
Sprinkle the bottom of the dish with chopped aromatic ingredients like
shallots, garlic, mirepoix of vegetables, of finely chopped raw
mushrooms. Place the fish on top (in a single layer, if you're cooking
fillets or steaks) and season with salt and pepper. Add enough liquid -
wine, fish broth (stock) or concentrated red-wine fish broth - to come
halfway up the side of the fish. Loosely cover the pan or dish with
parchment paper or foil, bring to a simmer on top of the stove, transfer
to the oven, and bake until done. (or skip the aromatics and just pour
enough simmering liquid over the fish to come halfway up the sides of
the fish, cover with parchment, and bake). Remove the fish and serve
with the cooking juices as they are.
Flounder Baked with White Wine and Shallots
1. Sprinkle minced shallots generously over the bottom of
an ovenproof oval pan and place the whole flatfish - top skin
removed and the bottom skin scaled - on top.
2. Pour over wine and fish broth to come halfway up the
sides of the fish.
Place the pan on the stove and bring the liquid to a simmer over
high heat. Place an oval of parchment paper or aluminum foil over
the fish and baked at 375oF until the fish is cooked
through, 7 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Place the pan on the stove over medium heat, remove the parchment
paper, and use a wide spatula to transfer the fish to a plate or
Whisk butter into the cooking liquid in the pan.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the fish. Serve
whole, or fillet the fish.