This dish always reminds me of my grandfather.
Lunch is a big deal in Cyprus, what would and should normally take an hour, will usually turn into 3 hours of eating ...it usually goes something like this….
When we eventually all agree where to strategically sit (yes this is the first obstacle), the air conditioning is hitting the back of my aunts neck, the fan outside is on high and is blowing us away, the table originally given to us is in the middle of other tables (God forbid there are other people near by), why is the table found for us near the wall/toilets? We settle for the first original table.
Then the wine list…. This won’t be hard, my grandfather is a wine drinker and knows what he likes.
Grandfather ‘do you have Thisbe’
Waiter ‘yes sir’
Grandfather ‘good, we’ll have that’
Grandfather inspects the bottle before opening, makes a comment about the alcohol percentage (by this point, for me, the higher the better! I just want to sunbathe!) He tastes the wine and it’s not cold enough. I’m slowly loosing the will to live.
Without a doubt, amongst a table full of various types of fish dishes, we will also be having sea bream but not before it’s personally chosen by my grandfather. He will approach the fish display to choose exactly which fishes he wants cooked, to ensure these are placed on charcoal not in the oven (that’s another recipe & another technique to share with you later), but most importantly to check the eyes.
Grandfather ‘never choose a fish with yellow eyes Yianna mou (my Joanna), if the eyes are not white, the fish is not fresh.
2 Sea Bream
Pre heat the oven Gas mark 4/ 350F / 180C
Wash the sea bream and pat dry.
Place in a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Add a little bit of water as not to stick and this will help keep the fish soft when cooked.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cover with silver foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, increasing the oven temperature to full for 5-10 minutes allowing the skin to turn crispy.
For the dressing, juice one lemon. Place one part olive oil to two parts lemon into a jar with a lid, shake well to combine.
Once the fish is cooked, place into a serving dish opening up the fish to remove the main bones from inside. Drizzle the dressing with a spoon and sprinkle the chopped parsley.
Adding water to the fish whilst cooking will have a steam effect.
Do not over do it with the dressing as everyone will have their own preference, this can be placed on the table to the side for everyone to help themselves.
Be careful with the bones!
This can be served with pretty much anything! Go for baked sweet potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, rice, vegetables and of course a Greek salad!
Cost under £12 for 2 - 3 persons.