Well there were several "firsts" for me on this recipe!
1. I have never purchased a whole fish (with head and tail).
2. I have never COOKED a whole fish (with head and tail).
3. I have never EATEN (or ordered in a restaurant) a whole fish!
4. I have never cleaned medium-sized artichokes in this way.
Since I live in the desert, and our closest ocean is two hours away, I was thrilled that our fish store, The Fisherman, could order me a fresh 2 pound sea bass the day before I wanted to cook it.
I forced myself to even touch the dead little guy, but looked to make sure he had been gutted, as I was NOT going to do THAT! (Why do I have no problem butchering up meat? Because the thing is not LOOKING AT ME?)
Ok, all I had to do was wash and dry the bloody fish. (It WAS bloody. That is not British slang.) On to the artichokes...
The recipe called for 4 medium sized artichokes. They are trimmed, cleaned, with chokes removed, being rubbed with freshly squeezed lemon to prevent them from turning brown. Then they were thinly sliced. I had a great sous chef: Brad. As I trimmed and broke off the upper part of the leaves, he cleaned out the chokes and sliced.
The sliced artichokes go around the fish, with some stuffed inside the fish cavity. Then you prepare a simple mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and pour it over the fish and artichokes. Add some fresh rosemary, and bake. It went into the oven like this:
It came out looking like this:
Brad filleted the fish. It was tender and moist, and the artichokes were VERY lemony. I found the fish a little bland and under-seasoned. Sorry, Marcella, but this was NOT one of my favorites. I do like sea bass, but I shall let the true chefs prepare it for me in the future, or buy a fillet if I am in the mood to cook fish!