Besugo al horno (baked sea bream)
Two alternative recipes have been sent for baked sea bream, which have some similarities but are considerably different in style.
Ingredients (a traditional recipe provided without measurements)
slivers of garlic
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Gut and clean the sea bream. Make some cuts into the flesh into which put slices of lemon and slivers of garlic. Also put some lemon and garlic into the centre of the fish. Finally, add some salt and sprigs of parsley.
Choose an ovenproof container that is also suitable for the table. Cover the base of this pan with slices of potato about 1/2 cm thick, add chopped onion and celery, parsley, salt, a little ground black pepper, slivers of garlic, and enough white wine and fish stock to cover easily. Put the pan into a previously heated very hot oven (250o C) until the potatoes, onions, etc. are partly cooked. Turn down the oven to 150o C. Then, put the seasoned and decorated sea bream on to the vegetable base and spoon the stock, wine and olive oil fluids over the fish. Return the pan to the oven, but regularly spoon fluids over the fish.
The fish is cooked when the flesh is firm and there is no indentation when pressed with the back of a spoon. Take the ovenproof pan with all its contents straight to the table.
Alternative: Another version is to stew the fish with almonds on the top of the stove. In this case, season as above but instead of potatoes, etc., add a spicy almond sauce with the fish stock, in which case add a little flour to thicken the sauce. This version seems to be much older and belongs to an age when not all houses had an oven.