I was inspired to make these potato "rafts" after seeing them in an old copy of Cook's Illustrated. I love how the potatoes fuse together in the oven and become supremely crisp, tender, and garlicky. I like to use sole or halibut on top, but any firm and flaky white fish will do, like cod, haddock, or striped bass.
If you're looking for an easy but elegant dinner party main course, this is it! The fish cooks up perfectly on top of its own side dish of crispy potatoes, and the whole thing is just beautiful to look at.
When buying the fish, the important thing to keep in mind is the thickness of the fish. Sole fillets are often very thin, so substitute with another thicker white fish instead if you prefer more substantial fillets.
- Christine, April 2015
Lemon-Herb Sole on Crispy Potato Rafts
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 medium), unpeeled and scrubbed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (roughly 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless sole fillets or other firm white fish (5 ounces each and 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 lemon, thinly sliced
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons capers, drained
Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated.
Assemble 4 potato rafts by overlapping potato slices on the prepared pan in rectangular mounds. Each raft should consist of 3 or 4 shingled rows and be roughly 4 x 6 inches; use 3 or 4 slices of potato per row.
Roast the potatoes, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden brown and beginning to crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
Blot the fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Place one, skin-side down, centered on top of each potato raft. Top each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon butter, 2 lemon slices, and 2 sprigs thyme. Scatter the capers atop the fish and around the pan.
Return the pan to the oven and roast until the fish is flaky and opaque, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the potato rafts and accompanying fillets to individual plates, ideally with a big spatula. Serve hot.
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Reprinted from Sheet Pan Suppers. Copyright © 2014 by Molly Gilbert. Published by Workman Publishing Company.