In the comment thread of the baked salmon with buttered vegetables entry, I noted two things. First the question as to whether some other fish could be substituted for salmon. Second is Gail’s link to her own version of Conti’s inspired baked salmon. This baked fish fillet with cream cheese and mayo topping answers the first question and, at the same time, draws inspiration from Gail’s mayo and cream cheese topping.
I used a fillet of labahita (surgeonfish), about 500 grams, and blended cream cheese with mayo for the topping. Just like the baked salmon with buttered vegetables, a two-step cooking process involved. Nothing complicated though. If anything, this is a simpler and takes only about 15 minutes to cook.
Baked fish fillet with cream cheese and mayo topping
- Preheat the oven to 425F. If you’re using a turbo broiler, there is no need to preheat.
- Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, cream cheese and garlic. If the cream cheese has been sufficiently softened, the mixture should be smooth.
- Melt half of the butter in a frying pan. Pan fry the fish on both sides just long enough for it to change color. You want it half cooked only at this stage because you’re still going to bake it. If you cook it through in the frying pan, the fish will overcook during baking and turn dry. So, half cook the fish then transfer to a baking dish.
- Turn off the heat. Add the rest of the butter and swirl. Add the vegetables and stir to coat each piece with butter.
- Scatter the vegetables around the fish in the baking pan.
- Spread the cream cheese and mayo mixture evenly on top of the fish. Bake for 12 minutes or until light brown spots form on the topping.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven. Let the fish rest for at least five minutes before cutting and serving to allow the topping to firm up a little.
The baked fish fillet with cream cheese and mayo topping is great by itself but my daughters and I enjoyed it with spaghetti carbonara. Carbonara is Sam’s favorite pasta dish and since she’s only home during weekends, I grant her requests for her favorite dishes.