Orata Al Cartoccio.....Sea Bream Baked In Foil

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everybody !
I had Orata Al Cartoccio in Milan, Italy once and fell in love with it. So I will share it with you today.
The Orata or Sea Bream is one of the most delicious fish...
in the sea. Basically, I am a meat person and do not like fish too much. I like Sea Bream though because it does not have too many bones. Sea Bream is very much found in the Mediterranean and most countries around it. People like this fish so much that are now breeding them  in fisheries. Of course the wild equivalent is better, bigger, but expensive. The bred type comes in 450 gram clones and is much cheaper. It is one of the most noble, and tasty fish there is. You cannot go wrong when you serve such cloned fish to your family or to your guests.
I would like to share with you how to recognize a fresh fish. These tips were handed down to me by my father during my childhood, when he used to take me with him  to the Alexadria, Egypt fish market to buy fish.
  • Its gills must be a bright red and must smell of the sea. Many fish mongers just show you the gills. You must smell them.
  • The eye of the fish must be concave, bright and transparent. If is convex and opaque it is no good.
  • Third and most important tip is when you fish it yourself ! 
You will need:-  1 Sea Bream about 450 grms, scaled, cleaned. Tail cut off at the base.
-  1 clove garlic passed through the press.
-  Juice of 1 lemon.
-  Olive oi.l
-  2 anchovies a small knob of butter mixed into a paste.
-  2 Tblsp. button mushrooms sliced.
-  1 Tblsp. grated ginger.
-  2 Tblsp. parsley.
-  1 Tblsp. Pesto.
-  Baking paper.
-  Aluminum foil.
-  Lay down a rectangular piece of aluminum foil enough to loosely wrap the fish.
-  Lay right on top of it a rectangular piece of baking paper same size at the aluminum.
-  Lay fish on the baking paper.
-  Score the fish a couple of times from each side and rub in with oil, pepper, garlic, ginger and lemon
-  Rub all the fish on both sides with lemon, oil and pesto in that order.
-  Put the anchovy butter mixture in the belly of the fish.
-  Sprinkle the parsley on the whole lot.
-  Fold the aluminum /  baking paper to make a nice neat envelope.
-  With a fork make some holes for the vapor to escape.
-  Bake for 20 minutes in a 200 degree C oven.
At table open envelope and eat using the special fish fork and knife.
Baby vapor potatoes will do just fine
Bon Appétit,


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