Fish Filets with Potato Scales
(Filets de Poisson en Écailles Croustillantes)
French chef Paul Bocuse's idea of encrusting fish filets with "scales" of potato has been widely copied.
8 tbsp. butter, melted
2 large floury potatoes, peeled
2 8-oz. black sea bass filets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Put butter into a bowl and set aside. Slice potatoes lengthwise on a mandoline into 1/16"-thick slices. Working in batches, stack 3–4 potato slices and cut out 70–80 rounds with a 1 1/2" round cookie cutter. Put potato rounds into butter, coating them completely, and set aside.
2. Season filets with salt and pepper, then transfer to a tray, skin side up. Lay potato slices on top of filets in an overlapping pattern to simulate fish scales, covering surface of fish completely. Drizzle remaining butter from bowl over "scales". Refrigerate until butter is firm, 1 hour.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add oil, then fish, potato side down. Press on filets with a long spatula to keep fish from buckling. Cook until potatoes are golden and crisp, 5-6 minutes. Carefully turn fish with spatula and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Serve with lemon and garnish with parsley, if you like.