Sea bream belongs to the carp family, is plentiful and deliciously full of flavour. A whole sea bream stuffed with herbs and baked or grilled is quick and simple to do, while skin-on fillets are great for grilling or pan-frying, ready in minutes.
Bream fillets: heat frying pan over a high heat. Meanwhile, make 2 or 3 cuts in the skin of the fillets. Add a splash of oil to the pan and, when really hot, add the bream fillets skin side down. Season and cook for 2–3 minutes until the fish is dark golden and the skin is crisp. Have with creamy mashed potatoes with lots of black pepper and peas. Nothing like it.
Baked: heat the oven to 200C. Lay a heap of rosemary on the bottom of a roasting pan, toss in a little oil and put the bass on top. Make 2 to 3 cuts in the side of the fish, rub with oil and season. Place several slices of lemon on top and 2 or 3 inside the bream along with 2 cloves of garlic squashed flat and a handful of chopped up garden herbs (it doesn’t matter if some spills out during cooking). Bake for 25 minutes, turning once (the smell of rosemary is amazing).
When they are ready, carefully take off the skin and lift the fillet onto a plate. A whole fish should be enough for two. Delicious with rice and a green salad.
Pan-fry: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a fairly high heat. Add 2 whole bream, followed by 4 cloves of garlic, about 20 cherry tomatoes, a handful of fresh basil roughly torn, some salt, 1 small red chilli finely chopped and 400ml of cider or water.
Turn the heat down slightly and cook the sea bream for 7 minutes on each side. Remove the fish from the pan and put onto a serving dish. Turn up the heat and cook the tomatoes for about a minute then pour it over the bream and dig in. This needs lots of good bread to mop up the tomato sauce.
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