Baked Whole Bass with Apple Fennel
- 1 1/2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup diced slab bacon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pound bass, scored
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 2/4 cups apple cider
- 2 Cortland or McIntosh apples, thinly sliced (peel if desired)
- 20 to 24 clams, scrubbed
- 1 bunch scallion greens
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme (not chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover an 8 by 12-inch baking pan with the fennel slices and layer with the onion and then dot with the bacon. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lay the bass on top, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper and bay leaves. Surround the bass with the apple cider, apple slices and clams. Sprinkle with the scallions and thyme. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Remove the bay leaves and serve on a large platter.
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