Chef Manuel Parianos (from ABC Radio, 13/9/08)
Degree of difficulty: Low
1 golden perch of 1 kg, scaled, gilled and gutted
2 large kipfler potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt flakes, to taste
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
For the stuffing
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested
Salt flakes & freshly ground pepper, to taste
65g shelled walnuts
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1. Place a large baking tray in the oven and preheat to 230 degrees Celsius.
2. Make the olive and walnut stuffing by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until very finely chopped.
3. Thoroughly rinse the belly cavity of the fish, then pat dry with paper towel.
4. Score both sides of the fish with 3 or 4 angled cuts through to the bone.
5. Spoon the stuffing into the scores on both sides of the fish and place any remainig stuffing in the belly cavity.
6. Place potatoes in a baking dish, sprinkle well with salt and pepper and toss with a third of the olive oil.
7. Once the oven is hot, remove the baking tray and drizzle with a third of the olive oil.
8. Quickly place the fish on the tray and arrange the tomatoes on either side, then sprinke with oregano leaves, salt and pepper.
9. Drizzle the top of the fish with the remaining oil and put it in the oven.
10. Cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200 C and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the thickest part of the fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.
11. Serve on a large platter surrounded by tomatoes and potatoes and topped with cooking liquid.
Kipflers are waxy potatoes that hold their shape well when cooked, the other waxy potatoes include charlotte or pink fir apple. Allow the fish to come to room temperature before cooking. The underside of the fish develops a delicious crust, but you can always turn the fish once during cooking to prevent this.
Alternative fish that you could use: Barrumundi, blue eye, trevalla, goldband snapper, king threadfin or snapper.