What you can’t see in this picture, thanks to my formidable photography skills, is that the jackets did not quite embrace the fish as I believe Jacques intended. What you also cannot see is that I used halibut vs. red snapper because my friends, here in the great Middle West we cannot be too fussy and twee about buying fresh fish. We take what we can get or we quit our jobs and drive around in Saturday traffic on a wild fish chase. (I always love it when a cookbook tells you, by way of instruction on purchasing fish, to “make friends with a good fishmonger.” I can barely make friends with my actual friends, let alone take on a piscatory relationship, as mutually satisfying as it might be. I say “make friends with compromise and the under-valued notion of ‘good enough.’”) Jacques does not insist on the snapper; trout, perch or catfish will also work (none of which my store had). So does halibut, as it turns out.
I loved this recipe but the proportions seemed off. Two large baking potatoes, sliced 1mm thick, will yield far more potato slices than you will need for 4 fillets. I toyed with the idea of making home-made potato chips out of the leftovers but squashed that in the name of eating before 9:00. Conversely, one medium zucchini makes for a woefully inadequate garnish. I would double that part of the recipe because the garnish is quite good.
Otherwise, this is quick and the potatoe jackets protect the fish from over-cooking and drying and seriously, when are potatoes not welcome? Be a little more aggressive than I was in wrapping your fillets in their little jackets, it will pay off when you flip them.
Red Snapper Fillets in Potato Jackets is here and on page 222 of Essential Pepin.