Garlic-Roasted Orange Roughy with Mashed Potato Crust
2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy cream, light cream, or milk
2 pounds orange roughy fillets, cut to make 4 pieces*
1/2 cup Wildhurst 2005 Chardonnay
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
Heat the oven to 450°F. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Add the wine. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them in the saucepan along with 3/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the butter and cream. Rub the fish with the oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Put the fish in a large roasting pan, sprinkle with the garlic, and then spread the mashed potatoes over the fish. Roast until the fish is nearly done, 8-10 minutes for 3/4-inch thick fillets. Heat the broiler. Broil the fish until the mashed potatoes have a golden brown crust, about 2 minutes. Roasted banana squash or fire-grilled crookneck squash would make a wonderful accompaniment to this dish. Serve with a bottle of our Wildhurst Chardonnay.
*Fish alternatives: Use other relatively thick, white-fleshed fillets in place of the orange roughy. Good choices include grouper, haddock, cod, red snapper, and turbot.
Chef Don Bocca