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Saturday, 10 September 2011

Turkish/Scottish sea bream recipe

Allspice for the win! Thanks, Dave.
Off to Turkey tomorrow for a week of relaxation and excellent food. But as it's a wee bargain basement trip (I'm planning to relearn how to draw and use an SLR properly) I can't justify ordering delicious Turkish seafood. It's dreadfully expensive and when there are delicious cheap eats like pide (Turkish pizza), kebabs, meze and lavash bread for a few quid there's not a lot of point.

But I do love fish, I really do. And my favouritest fish is a plump, whole one - head on, scales off, simply fried or grilled, such as you'll find all round the Med. There will always be olive oil and lemon involved and maybe one other characterful ingredient - dill, cumin, oregano or whatever.

So when I nipped into Tesco tonight I was very happy to see their sea bream reduced to £1.50 for a 12oz fish! The plan was to treat myself to a Turkish style fishy dinner for one with minimal fuss and maximum flavour. My problem was getting the right flavour combination - it had to be simple, quick but tasty enough to keep me walking past the Turkish fish restaurants all week.

Then I remembered that our old photographer, David Spence, once told me that when he was a kid in Scotland they used to ask for their fish suppers with "salt, vinegar and spice" and that the spice in question was allspice. Genius!

Turkish-Scottish Sea Bream

1 x 12oz Sea Bream
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Lemon juice

Gut and scale the bream (to scale it, hold it by the tail and scrape a knife down it repeatedly till all the scales fly off. Repeat on the other side. If you don't know how to gut it, you probably shouldn't be trying this!). Heat a few tbsp of oil at medium high heat and fry the fish for 5-10mins each side. Don't move the fish while it fries. When it's done, lift it out and dress it with lemon juice and fresh olive oil. season with salt, pepper and allspice.

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