Sunday, 18 September 2016

Baked sea bream - an aide-memoire

I usually bake whole fish en papillotte, which makes it a bugger to judge the timing. I always forget how long the last near-perfect one took, so finally decided to make a note of last night's. I made this with the sorrel risotto from a while ago, so a stick of celery and a small shallot did for both dishes.

Serves 2

2 whole sea bream, cleaned
A handful of minced celery and shallot
A clove of garlic
A bay leaf
Quarter of a lemon
Olive oil
Fines herbes

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Wash the bream inside and out, making sure any lingering scales are banished to the sink, then pat dry and score three times on each side. Lay the fish on sheets of baking parchment.

Halve the clove of garlic lengthways and then cut each half almost into slices, so that it's held together at the tip.

Season the shallot and celery mixture and place a spoonful in the belly cavity of each fish with half a bay leaf and a half clove of garlic.

Rub a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper into the skin, drizzle a little olive oil and add a sprinkling of fines herbes. Pop a wedge of lemon beside each fish, wrap in the baking parchment and then again in foil.

Place on a baking tray in the oven for 25 minutes.

Serve with sorrel risotto and runner bean purée.

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