The Martha's Vinyard Cookbook
Louise Tate King & Jean Stewart Wexlar
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 Baked Striped Bass with
 Herb Stuffing
[If you are a non-angling resident of New Jersey and would like to know why you couldn't enjoy this dish without leaving the State, follow this link Link to Striped Bass for NJ Consumers section]
  • 3-4 pounds striped bass, cut into two fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 or more tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots or green onions (use some of green stems)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh summer savory (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced freesh basil (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley (the Italian type is best)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and coarsely crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 slices salt pork, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges
  • Parsley sprigs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse fish well under cold water, dry with paper towels, rub with salt and pepper inside and out.

Over moderate heat melt butter in a heavy skillet; when butter foam subsides, add shallots or onions, garlic, and celery. Reduce heat and saute about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are wilted. Stir occasionally. Add a little more butter if indicated. Turn heat to high, add mushrooms and cook 3 or 4 minutes more. Add chervil, sage, savory, basil, parsley, and 1/2 cup of the wine; stir well, reduce heat, and let simmer for several minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, stir in bread crumbs and grated cheese, lifting lightly with a fork to combine all ingredients. Additional salt and pepper may be added, if required. Allow mixture to cool slightly.

Place one fillet on shallow baking pan lined with greased foil. If fish slabs are thick and it looks as though the dish would be unwieldy when assembled, lay two pieces of twine on pan first and use to tie stuffed fillets together. Use larger piece of fish for bottom, if they differ. Arrange stuffing neatly on top of fish, then lay second fillet on that. Press stuffing inward if needed to help hold it in place. Rub top of fish with olive oil and dust lightly with salt and pepper if desired. Optional salt-pork slices should be added at this point. Tie with twine if needed.

In a small saucepan heat remaining wine and olive oil and the lemon juice. Pour it over fish and bake, uncovered, about 30 to 45 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork. While the fish is baking, baste it three or four times with the liquids in the baking pan. Transfer fish to a heated platter and discard twine.

Serve the fish very hot, garnished with lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley.

Note: For fewer diners, the stuffing can be carefully piled on a single bass fillet, the salt-pork slices (if used) placed on the stuffing, a dusting of salt and pepper added if desired, and the mixture of wine, olive oil, and lemon juice poured over the top. Adjust proportions and baking time accordingly. If salt pork is not used, a piece of foil placed over the fish during final 10 minutes or so of baking will help keep stuffing from drying out too much.

Makes 6 to 8 portions.

(After a recipe in The Martha's Vineyard Cookbook by Louise Tate King and Jean Stewart Wexlar, 1993, The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook, Conn.)