I'm a big fan of baking in a frying pan with a heat-resistant handle. It gives you the best of both worlds in terms of high, direct heat for a crisp crust, and radiated heat from the oven for more gentle cooking – perfect for getting fish just right.
2 brown onions, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick rings
1 whole snapper (about 1kg), cleaned
1 lemon, cut into ½ cm slices
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra to drizzle and dress
1 head baby cos lettuce, washed, spun and separated into leaves, to serve
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 200C. Cut a few deep slits into each side of the snapper and season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Place half of the lemon slices inside the fish.
Heat a frying pan large enough to accommodate the snapper (although the head and tail slightly overhanging the pan is fine) over medium heat and add about half the oil. Cover the base of the pan in slices of onion, place the snapper on top and drizzle the fish with the remaining oil. Top with a few more lemon slices. Remove from the stove top and transfer to the oven. Bake until the snapper is cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes.
For the dill cream, combine the ingredients and set aside.
Dress the lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice and grind over black pepper. Serve the snapper with the dill cream, lettuce and new potatoes with seaweed and garlic butter.