Wandering around the village on Friday we found that Friday here too was fish day – at the end of the car park there was a man selling fresh fish from his van. Well this was too good to miss! So amongst other things we bought a lovely Sea Bass and a Sea Bream – only when on the way home did we suddenly think they might be just a bit too big for the Mini BGE!! Now this is where the MiniMax. would have been perfect! – But on this occasion necessity is this mother of invention and so a little” fishy modification” was finally undertaken before cooking – it reduced the aesthetic impact a little – but the taste was still wonderful! – but more of that later!
So how to cook – lets keep it simple. We were going to cook indirectly – so the BGE was set up with the platesetter in the feet up position with the Cast iron grill on top but inverted so the widest part of the bars were uppermost. We brought the temperature up to about 140C and then a handful of soaked Oak wood chips were added as a circle just outside the burning charcoal area before putting the platesetter and grill back in place.
Both fish were gutted and lightly descaled, washed and then patted dry. The head was removed from the Sea Bass and the body cavities of both fish were salted and then stuffed with sliced tomatoes, a little thinly sliced fennel and sliced lemon. The skin was salted and peppered and dusted with a mixture of dried herbs and allowed to rest as the BGE came up to temperature.
But then we needed to modify the fish a little bit more! Some trimming was needed for both fish to allow the top of the BGE to be closed properly! I have to say it did impact on the aesthetics a little – but when needs must!. As there was fresh rosemary to hand a stem was added for the cooking period – wetting it before hand allowed it to smoulder for that little bit longer enhancing the slightly smoky aroma!
We decided not to tempt fate and so we did not turn the fish over whilst cooking – but that is the great thing about the BGE – it is so forgiving!! The fish were served simply with a little wild rice, lemon and olive oil and just a little bread to mop the plate at the end.
The tomatoes and the fennel added a delightful sweetnes to the fish and the gentle smokiness set the whole plate off beautifully. The only difficulty was deciding who had which plate – if only all of life’s problems were so easilly resolved!!
Footnote. We revisited this recipe 2 years later in the same part of Tuscany and yes it was every bit as good – but we had crispy fish skin too!! – see here
Sea Bass and Sea Bream Duo
Oven Grilled Fish stuffed with tomatoes, fennel and lemon
- Sea Bass
- Sea Bream
- Mixed dried herbs
- Salt and Pepper
- Rosemary (optional)
- Step 1 Set up the BGE for indirect cooking
- Step 2 Bring temperature to about 140C and then add a handful of “soaked Oak wood chips
- Step 3 Put the plate setter back with the Cast iron grill on top but inverted so the widest part of the bars were uppermost.
- Step 4 Whilst the BGE comes up to temperature gut the fish and lightly descale, washed and then pat dry.
- Step 5 Salt the body cavities of both fish and then stuff with sliced tomatoes, a little thinly sliced fennel and sliced lemon.
- Step 6 Salt and pepper the skinned dust with a mixture of dried herbs
- Step 7 Soak the rosemary to encourage it to smoulder
- Step 8 Place the fish and the rosemary on the grill – do not turn!
- Step 9 When the fish is cooked (internal temperature reached 52C) remove from the grill [the USDA recommends 62.8C]
- Step 10 Serve the fish with a little wild rice lemon and olive oil and just a little bread to mop the plate at the end.