Whole Roast Fish With Toasted Garlic, Orange and Chilies

1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 serrano pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 whole fish (1 1/2 pounds each), gutted, scales removed and cleaned
2 fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick strips

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and keep pan moving, swirling it over heat, until garlic turns golden-brown. Remove from heat, carefully add the orange and lime juices, cumin, serrano pepper, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper to taste. Taste for seasoning. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Place the fish in a large bowl; pour in garlic-oil-citrus juice mixture. Slather mixture all over fish. Marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours in refrigerator.

Heat oven to 375 F. Arrange the fennel strips in a single layer in a roasting pan; season with remaining salt and pepper to taste. Position fish over fennel and drizzle marinade over fish and fennel. Cover pan with foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil; increase oven heat to 400 F. Bake until fish is cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes.

Serve with couscous and sauteed greens. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


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