Rockfish with Caramelized Onion and Fennel

April 5, 2010

At its peak in the spring and fall, local rockfish (a.k.a. striped bass) is an excellent, moist, mildly firm fish that can be cooked in the oven or grilled.

Serves 6

Olive oil
3 med. garlic cloves
2 sm. onions thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, branches and tough outer sections removed, fronds reserved for garnish
1 Tbls. thyme leaves, minced
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 – 3 lbs. rockfish fillets
3 slices bacon (cut into small 1/2″ pieces)
Olive oil or unsalted butter
1 lemon, cut into wedges.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees or turn on grill.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, fennel, and thyme and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown – about 10 minutes. Add cut bacon pieces and saute until bacon is fragrant and cooked through. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

Line a large baking dish with foil, using a large enough piece so that you will be able to create a tight foil packet. Drizzle a little olive oil and rub to coat the bottom of the foil so that the fish won’t stick when cooked). Place rockfish, skin-side down, and top with fennel, onion mixture. Drizzle with a little olive oil or add some slight pats of butter as well to top the fish. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring foil up over the top and seal tightly. Bake or grill for 12-15 minutes. Serve onion-fennel mixture on top and to the side of your fish.

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