Over the New Year in Richmond, we were lucky enough to hang out with our pals Johnny and Tara Skaritza and their cat Jeepster. For dinner we made Rockfish (aka Atlantic striped bass, aka pimpfish!) which is available locally in Virginia.
In fact the well loved RVA Italian restaurants Mamma Zu’s and Edo’s Squid both serve really fantastic Rockfish.
Instead of trying to re create their dish we went with a garlic and citrus treatment. No one in the group had cooked a whole fish before but it was no big!! Especially after the nice fish monger took care of the nasty bits for me.
When I got all squeamish Tara jumped in and took care of business. Jeepster was great at helping to pass the time while our fish cooked and at general anticipation.
We listened to William Onyeabor which is great fish roasting music it turns out!
ROASTED ROCKFISH A LA SKARITZA
one whole (ours was 3.5 lbs)Rockfish
head, guts and scales removed (if you are not keen on doing it yourself, or leave on the head for an authentic presentation)
a whole mess of garlic both sliced thinly and crushed
thinly sliced citrus ( oranges lemons limes)
1/2 cup of olive oil ( add your crushed garlic to this)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place your fish on a foil lined cookie sheet splashed with some oil. Rub with salt and pepper. Stuff with thinly sliced garlic and citrus rounds. Cover the fish in remaining rounds. Spoon half of the garlic oil over the fish and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Take out and pour the remaining oil over the fish and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Watch the bones on this fish, it has many-but it’s worth it-so delicate and sweet!
We had it with Broccoli Rabe as well as the Hoppin’ John that Tara made which was SOOOOO GOOD and some of Ukrops cornbread which may as well be cake it’s so addictive.
Jeepster even made off with some. Those who still had room in their bellies nibbled on our friend Jada’s butternut Squash cheesecake which can be found here.