Do you remember my friend Stephen from last summer? He of the S'mores Semifreddo? This summer, he struck again, this time with a fish and corn dish. He served it at an end-of-season dinner party at the beach, and it captured the season so simply, so deliciously, I made it the following night for my family.
Stephen topped the fish with Julia Child's lemon beurre blanc. I went the lazy-man route and doused the fish with lemon juice the moment I took it out of the oven. You can use any fish you like. I made it with striped bass, and for the photo, we cooked tilapia. —Amanda Hesser
ears corn, shucked
Large pinch cayenne
Four 6-ounch fillets firm white fish, like striped bass, cod, tilapia or halibut
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large pan (wide enough to hold the corn) with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Lay or stack the corn in the pan. Place a lid on top, and let steam for 3 minutes. Drain and cool off the corn by running it under cold water.
Cut the corn from the cobs, scraping the cobs to extract as many corn juices as possible. Put the scraped corn into a pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and cayenne. Gently rewarm over medium low heat while you cook the fish.
Arrange the fish in a baking dish -- no need for crowding! Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil on top. Season with salt and place in the oven. Roast until the fish is just cooked through (about 10 minutes per inch of thickness). Baste the fish about halfway through with the olive oil that pools in the baking dish. Remove from the oven and squeeze the lemon all over the fish.
Spoon some corn on each plate, and top with a piece of fish.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.