Sometimes the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. One dish meals have a way of creating new flavors that you can't arrive at unless all of your ingredients mingle and bring out the best in one another. We love this Cast Iron Skillet Baked Fish both for its minimal ingredients and the straightforward process in which you prepare it. Practically any white fish will do - we used True Cod here. When it's baked with the tomatoes, both of them let off natural juices that do something special to the flavor of the potatoes. Yeah, those potatoes are the soul of this dish. They are tender, creamy and caramelized in each bite. Briny olives and fresh herbs punctuate the meal at just the right moments.
This recipe can go from the oven to your table in a few easy steps. (Don't forget the oven mitts and trivet!) Begin by preheating the oven (and your oven-proof skillet) while slicing up the potatoes and onion. Prepare the fish, tomato and olives while the potatoes get a head start in the oven. Then, while everything goes back into the oven together, you have a few minutes to wipe off the counter and pour a glass of wine.
Slow food made fast is how we think of this recipe. The rustic flavors that come together in the oven seem like they ought to have taken longer to produce. The added bonus is that this dish can also be scaled up to accommodate last minute dinner guests by adding a few more potatoes. Don't forget the crusty loaf of bread to wipe up every last bit of magic in the pan.
Cast Iron Skillet Baked Fish
A cast iron skillet or roasting pan is ideal for this recipe. Make sure the pan is not too large. It’s ok if the potatoes are a little crowded, but if the pan is too big and your ingredients spread out too far, all the yummy juices will evaporate. A 12 inch skillet is ideal for the measurements listed here. Another key to this recipe is high quality extra virgin olive oil and using enough of it. The amount listed here is a guideline. If you think it needs an extra glug, go for it.
4-6 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (more if needed)
1 lb cod or halibut fillets, portioned into 3-4 oz servings
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (yellow grape tomatoes shown in photo)
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 Tbsp fresh chervil, roughly chopped (basil or parsley can be substituted)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cast iron skillet or other oven-proof pan in oven to heat up.
Combine potatoes and onions in bowl. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil, toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from oven and transfer potato mixture into skillet. Return to oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven. Using a spatula, toss the potatoes and scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the potatoes from sticking. It’s ok if the potatoes break up a bit. Continue to bake for about 10 minutes while preparing fish.
Place fish on plate and drizzle about 1 Tbsp olive oil over each piece. Season with salt and pepper. Combine tomatoes, olives and herbs in small bowl and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove skillet from oven. Using a spatula, scrape the potatoes off the bottom of the skillet again and hollow out a few spots to place the fish. Add the tomato and olive mixture over the fish and return to the oven. Continue baking until fish is cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the fish. After 15 minutes, check for doneness by poking the fish with a knife to see if it flakes easily.