SERVES 4 (FAST)
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Hake is a popular Mediterranean member of the cod family. Its firm texture and mild flavor make it suitable for many different preparations; it is also rich in beneficial fatty oils. We wanted to use hake fillets in a bright-tasting and fuss-free fish dinner that was suitable for a weeknight meal yet impressive enough to serve guests. For a simple hake and potato recipe, we gave thinly sliced russet potatoes a head start by microwaving them with oil and garlic until just tender. We then nestled the fillets on top of the potatoes in a casserole dish. Lemon slices placed atop the hake basted it as it baked, and sprigs of thyme added subtle seasoning to the fish. In the oven, the potatoes got nicely crisped and infused with flavor while the fish cooked through gently and evenly. Best of all, the side dish and entrée were ready at the same time. Haddock and cod are good substitutes for the hake.
- 1½ pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skinless hake fillets, 1 to 1½ inches thick
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, sliced thin
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in bowl and season with salt and pepper. Microwave, uncovered, until potatoes are just tender, 12 to 14 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving.
- Transfer potatoes to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and press gently into even layer. Pat hake dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and arrange skinned side down on top of potatoes. Drizzle hake with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then place thyme sprigs and lemon slices on top. Bake until hake flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees, 15 to 18 minutes. Slide spatula underneath potatoes and hake and carefully transfer to individual plates. Serve.
Assembling Hake Fillets and Potatoes
1- Transfer microwaved potatoes to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and press gently into even
2- Arrange hake skinned side down on top of potatoes, drizzle with oil, and top with
thyme sprigs and lemon slices.