Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roast sea bass with roasted vegetables

WheelerandCompany spent the afternoon at Mount Usher Gardens today seeking out ideas for the garden planting, most specifically a tree.  When it comes to a tree is is really quite a problem for an architect.  Architects tend to opt for the tree which is an object of beauty rather than the tree as the bearer of fruit or of the bearer of an amazing smell for example.  Its all image.  I would like an apple tree or a giant eucalyptus or a dark Yew tree but my architectural training is steering me towards an acer or a silver birch, something more ornamental, Japanese and perfect yet with the right amount of imperfection, just enough to make it different.  Anyway I looked at so many I don't know what I want.  Perhaps a plain old sycamore to make up for the beautiful one that I used to sleep under as a child, which as a result of the family building site is no more....all food for thought, but speaking of food ...

I bought a whole sea bass yesterday from Donegal Seafood at the Dublin Food Coop in St Andrew's Resource Centre in Pearse Street.  The fish here is inexpensive and most importantly is 'out of the sea' fresh.

The recipe is one from Rick Steins 'Seafood' book - my bible of information when it comes to all things fish.  I make this really quite often as the children love it, it is very easy to make with about 10 minutes of preparation and 35-40 minutes cooking time.  You can also vary the vegetable ingredients greatly as I have here.

To feed a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children, you will need:

1 large-ish sea bass, head on, gutted, scaled, cleaned and dried.

8 waxy potatoes, I used Charlotte, par boiled for 7 minutes
a handful of baby tomatoes, I used Santini, or about 4 fresh plum tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper, cut into thick strips
1 large pinch of saffron
100ml vegetable stock
1 sprig of thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Put the saffron strands into a cup and add about 2blsps of hot water.  Set aside.
Par- boil the potatoes for about 7 minutes until just firm.  Peel and slice into 1 cm thick slices.
Arrange these on the bottom of a rectangular oven-proof dish.
Add the red onion, tomato and peppers.

Pour over the saffron infused water and strands and add the vegetable stock and throw in the thyme.

Place the whole fish on top of the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and place in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

I put the entire dish on the table and let everyone help themselves, much easier than choosing trees!

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