North Carolina’s far eastern shores inspired Elizabeth Wiegand to record the region’s recipes. Click here to learn more about her book, The Outer Banks Cookbook, and find additional recipes.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 whole striped bass (2 to 4 pounds), gutted and cleaned
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cold butter, thinly sliced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 small mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ¼ small sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh dill
- Several sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 4 slices of bacon or pancetta
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a large, shallow oven pan with oil. Foil may be used to cover the bottom. Place fish in the pan. On both sides, make 3 to 4 diagonal slashes through the skin of the fish, but not quite to the backbone. Open the gut cavity, and season generously with pepper and salt. Place the sliced butter evenly into the cavity, then the scallions, mushrooms, and sweet red pepper. Layer dill and thyme on top, then cover with as many lemon slices as possible. Wrap bacon slices tightly around the fish, about where the slashes are, helping to hold the stuffing in, with the ends weighted under the fish. Place any remaining slices of lemon over the fish. Season with salt and pepper again. Bake for one hour, checking after 45 minutes. The flesh should be white and flaky. With a sharp knife, slice portions all the way through the backbone. Serve immediately.
Yields 2 to 4 servings, depending on the size of the fish.
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