Sea Bream with Mediterranean Sauce
My own school holidays were mostly spent with my grandparents in Wales, and after long sunny days on the beach my grandfather and uncles would don waders, walk into the sea up to their waists, cast their rods (not that far out) and catch enormous sea bass, which I was thankful I was unaware of when swimming in the same spot earlier in the day.
In the evening my grandmother, who cooked on a large black solid-fuel range, would fry the fish which she first dipped in seasoned flour so it was crisp round the edges, and the whole family would have such a fresh-from-the-sea feast.
Two things to note: you can use any fish for this – whole sea bass or even a thick fillet of cod or haddock of the same weight. It’s also excellent served hot if the weather changes.
The Delia Online Cookery School: You can watch Delia's grandmother's method for shallow frying fish. Just press here to watch
This recipe is from A Year In My Kitchen Serves 2
First of all wipe the fish with some kitchen paper, then make three diagonal cuts across it (on both sides) and brush lightly with a little oil.
Season well with salt and freshly-milled black pepper, then place it in a shallow roasting tin and transfer it to the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile heat the oil in a medium-sized frying-pan, then add the shallots and pepper and soften then over a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another couple of minutes. Next add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, olives and capers, and sprinkle in the oregano and a seasoning of salt and pepper.
Simmer gently for 10 minutes or so – giving it all a stir now and then – and after that add the whole cherry tomatoes, and continue cooking until the cherry tomatoes have softened but not lost their shape. After 20 minutes check to see if the fish is cooked – the flesh should be opaque and firm – or give it a further five minutes if necessary. To serve, divide the fish slices, the top fillet for one person, then remove the backbone and serve the bottom fillet for the other.
Spoon the sauce over and serve with new potatoes.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375F, 190C
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