Around the world in 80 dishes No.4: Greece
Gilt-head sea bream baked in parcels by Vefa Alexiadou
Wednesday 05 May 2010
Ingredients to serve 4
2 gilt-head sea bream or porgy, about (750 g) each, scaled, cleaned and filleted
salt and pepper
generous half cup (135 ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 potatoes, sliced into rounds
1 small fennel bulb, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
1 courgette, sliced
250 ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1 large tomato, sliced into rounds
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
Fish has been an essential part of Greek cuisine since the start of Hellenic civilisation. Greeks still consider their local waters to be the best source of fish. The important thing is that the fish is fresh. Look for red gills, bright eyes and shiny scales. The flesh should be soft but springy. Fresh fish has a clean, pleasant smell of seawater.
Remove any pin bones from the fish with tweezers, season with salt and pepper, brush with oil, and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 10 minutes.
Heat two-and-a-half tablespoons of the oil in a pan. Add the fennel, carrot, celery and courgette and cook over a high heat, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Pour in half the wine and let the alcohol evaporate, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the dill, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
Heat two and a half tablespoons of the remaining oil in a non-stick skillet or frying pan. Cook the fish fillets, skin side down, in batches for a few minutes until lightly browned.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Cut four pieces of greaseproof paper into 30x40cm rectangles. Make a bed of potato slices in the centre of each rectangle. Spread one quarter of the vegetables on top of the potatoes and top with the fish, skin side down. Place a tomato slice and a rosemary sprig on each fish. Sprinkle one tablespoon each of olive oil and wine over each, and season with salt and pepper.
Fold the sides over the fish and twist the edges to seal. Place in a roasting pan and bake for 15 minutes. Serve in the parcels.
From Vefa's Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou (Phaidon £24.95). Photograph by Edward Park
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
Professional wine tasters putting teeth at risk, study finds
NHS property sale could raise £7.5bn to help pay off its growing deficit and free up space for housing
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
Gay marriage, one year on: Couples mark first anniversary of same-sex marriages
- 1 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
iJobs Food & Drink
£24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...