"November Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I've decided to make one of Diana Henry's fish recipes, and she has quite a number of fish recipes.
Ever since I saw the photo of this dish, "Spanish Baked Bream" in the Diana Henry's cookbook, "Food From Plenty", I knew that I will be making it sooner or later. This dish has really simple ingredients and yet it looks so delicious. And it is delicious!
The ingredients needed are fish, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, white breadcrumbs, garlic and finely chopped parsley. Firstly brush the fish inside and out with olive oil, squeeze on some lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish in a baking dish. Mix the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, crushed garlic, and salt to taste in a small bowl. Scatter this mixture over the fish, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C until fish is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.
I've used 1 large sea bass, about 600gm, and it takes about 35 minutes to be fully cooked. After about 20 minutes in the oven, the breadcrumbs mixture are beginning to brown, and the fish is still not fully cooked yet, so I have tent the top with foil, and continue to bake until the fish is cooked through. I then sprinkled the finely chopped parsley over the top, and continue to bake for another 3 minutes. Serve hot. Take note of the cooking times, depending on the size of the fish. To know whether the fish is done, I use a fork to poke thru the thickest part of the fish flesh (along the back), if the fork goes thru without any resistance, then the fish is cooked. If the fork can't get thru the meat, then it needs a few minutes more of baking time.
If the fish is large, you might want to bake the fish for 10 or 15 minutes first, before scattering the breadcrumbs mixture over the top and continue on baking until the fish is done.
This is one delicious dish! Since I've used only one fish, I have used half the ingredients and the next time I would certainly double the ingredients. We had this for dinner with rice and other dishes, and everyone was spooning for the breadcrumbs-paprika mixture. This is one dish that you got to be a little generous with the olive oil and lemon juice. Simple, so easy to cook, yet so good! I would definitely make this again.
Spanish Baked Bream
(adapted from "Food From Plenty", Diana Henry)
for the bream :
4 x 300gm (10-1/2oz) bream, gutted, trimmed and scaled
7 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
5 tsp smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, crushed
35gm (1-1/4 oz) white breadcrumbs
small handful of flat leat parsley, finely chopped
To serve :
extra virgin olive oil
wedges of lemon
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Brush the fish inside and out with olive oil, squeeze on some lemon juice and season well. Lay the fish - in a single layer but close together - in an overproof dish. Mix the smoked paprika, garlic and breadcrumbs together and season. Sprinkle this all over the fish, then drizzle on the remaining oil and lemon juice.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Throw on the parsley when the fish has cooked for 15 minutes. The bream is cooked when the flesh near the bone is white and opaque. Drizzle with extra virgin oil and serve with lemon wedges.