Orata in Italian means golden. In English this fish is called Gilt head (sea) bream. I’ve bought the same fish in markets in France where its name is Daurade (dorade royale), and many years ago I was vacationing in Calabria where it is known as it Pargo-Dorado… Here in Pantelleria this fish is referred to as Orata. By any name this is an absolutely lovely fish!
Put this fish on the barbecue or roast it in the oven. Orata blends well with any flavor. This week I was assigned to make a recipe with fish and olives so I filled it with sun dried black olives, Pantelleria capers, garlic and a lot of wild thyme that had I picked the day before. I cooked it in the oven for 30 min and it came out perfectly. Really, it was so good that we almost moaned as we ate.
This recipe can easily be used for other kinds of fish. When you cook the whole fish, don’t forget to eat that little part in the cheek on the side of the fish head. It may be little, but it’s the very best part.
I wish you all great week
AnnaOrata Pantesca al forno
2 each Orata fish 1 kilo or more in weight per fish (other names of the Orato: Dutch- Goldbrassen, East Germany- Dentis, Great Britian- Gill head Sea Bream)
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves finely chopped or pressed
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sun dried olives pitts removed and cut into chunks
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoon capers from Pantelleria (soaked and drained)
10 olives of your choice
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 medium sized fennel
1 spring onion
1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
Remove the scales, innards and gills of the fish view this video for further instruction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeXqdZYtF_A
Set and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200C)
In a small bowl mix:
Olive oil, garlic, 2 thyme sprigs crushed, the sun dried olives and one Tablespoon of the capers, salt and pepper (keep in mind that fish needs a little extra salt).
Make three cuts on the bias from the dorsal fin to the stomach starting from head to mid tail on both sides of the fish. (since fish has different thicknesses these slits will allow even heat distribution as well as area to add the flavorings) place the aforementioned flavorings inside the slits as well as into the body cavity of the fish. Pour the left over oil around and into the oven tray.Cut the fennel and onion into larger wedge uniform pieces as to withstand the high heat of the oven. Add them to the pan with the rest of the ingredients and finish off by pouring in the wine. Cover with Aluminum foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes, the cooking time might vary depending on the size of your fish, after 30 minutes remove from the oven and uncover. At this time you want to use a fork or butter knife to check the fish to see if the meat has cooked to the bone. You check at the thickest part of the fish by sticking the fork or knife into the and look to see if the meat is light and a little flaky in the consistency, not translucent at the point where it meats the bone. If it’s not ready let it stay for another ten minutes uncovered. But be careful with the cooking time, in my opinion there is nothing sadder than overcooked fish.
Dinner plate http://indiska.com/
Capperi di Pantelleria http://shop.underthealmondtree.com/product/capers