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Sea Bream with Port


My experience of Portuguese food is from restaurants and Tapas bars. I am ashamed to say that I’ve never been to Portugal, although I’ve promised myself I’ll get there soon.  From what I’ve read and been told, soup is the first course of any Portuguese meal and their signature soup is  the Minho, which is prepared with spiced sausage, potatoes and cabbage.

One typical Portugese ingredient of which I am not enamoured is the dried fish, called Bacalao. Maybe I’m being too hasty in my judgement, as apparently there are as many ways to cook this fish as there are days in the year..

Other delicious Portugese fish (peixe) dishes I’ve tried evolve around sole (lenguado) and sardines (sardinha), although salmon (salmão) and trout (truta) are also popular. These were usually fried or grilled but the Sea Beam recipe I give this week is different and quite exquisite.

A tip: I have found that in some Portuguese restaurants, if you order a salad it will come sprinkled with salt but if this is not to your liking just order it "sem sal" (without salt). That’s the sum total of my Portugese.

Sea Bream with Port

Ingredients:
• 675g/1½ lb Sea Bream fillets
• 25g/1oz Butter
• 240ml/8fl.oz. Port Wine
• 1 teasp Sweet Paprika
• 2 Egg yolks
• 1 tbsp Cream
• Salt

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease a shallow ovenproof dish.

2. Place the fish fillets in the dish dot with the and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

3. Add the port, lay a sheet of parchment or greaseproof paper over the top of the fish and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes or until the fish is tender.

4. Turn the oven off then strain the cooking liquor into a saucepan. Return the fish to the oven to keep warm.

5. Bring the cooking liquor to the boil and boil rapidly for 4-5 minutes, until slightly reduced.

6. Allow to cool a little then beat in the egg yolks and cream. Return to a low heat and reheat very, very gently. Do not bring it to the simmering point.

7. To serve - pour the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.
 

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