Bread crumbs, cornmeal, batter of all sorts—it's not surprising to find a crust on a fish, but this one's a bit unusual. Buttery, creamy mashed potatoes are spread on fillets, which are roasted and then broiled until the topping is a tempting golden brown.
2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, light cream, or milk
2 pounds cod fillets, cut to make 4 pieces
2 teaspoons cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
How to Make It
Heat the oven to 450&176;. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until tender, about 15 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan along with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the butter and cream.
Rub the cod with the oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put the cod in a large roasting pan, sprinkle the fillets with the garlic, and then spread with the mashed potatoes. Roast until the fish is nearly done, 8 to 10 minutes for 3/4-inch-thick fillets.
Heat the broiler. Broil the fish until the mashed potatoes have a golden brown crust, about 2 minutes.
Fish Alternatives Use other relatively thick, white-fleshed fillets in place of the cod. Good choices include grouper, haddock, orange roughy, red snapper, and turbot.
This comforting dish will find its ideal wine soul mate in just about any Chardonnay. Try a bottle from California or a more refined versiona Rully, Montagny, or Mâcon-Villages,for examplefrom southern Burgundy in France.
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