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This Sea Bream Flan with Escarole and Taggiasca Olives sprinkled with Toasted Pine Nuts is as beautiful to look at as it is tasty to try.
With the arrival of summer, the desire to bring fresh fish to my table grows day by day. Consumption of fresh fish is also perfect for maintaining a healthy and genuine food style, according to the typical Italian Mediterranean dietary.
Today I’m pleased to propose a dish made with simple ingredients, but arranged in a starry chef way!
I chose the Sea Bream – a coastal fish very common in the Italian sea – because it is a fish with delicate meat, which also lends itself well to extremely simple recipes. Bream owes its name to the golden strip positioned between the eyes, which characterizes this species.
I flavored the Sea Bream meat with an excellent seasonal Escarole sautéed in a pan, adding a handful of Pine Nuts that I had previously toasted.
For a bit of a pungent taste, I added some Taggiasca Olives.
Probably the most complicated part of this recipe, if you are not used to handling fishes, is filleting the sea bream.
But don’t worry, following the steps below you a full explanation on how to filleting fish … and do it without dirtying the whole kitchen !! If you prefer a visual guide for filleting fish on Wikihow you can find an excellent one.
How to filleting fish
1. First of all, remove all fins with scissors.
2. Take a transparent plastic bag (those for the freezer) and insert the fish by the head side. Holding the fish by the tail use the back of the knife (not with the blade, otherwise you will ruin the skin), to scratch the surface and remove the scales. Take care to use an appropriate filleting fish knife!
3. Rinse the fish thoroughly.
4. Make a cut on the belly of the fish starting from the hole near the tail and going towards the head and eliminate the bowels. Rinse the fish in the internal cavity.
5. Make an incision with the knife along the entire back of the fish, just above the dorsal fins, then make two more incisions: one at the junction of the head and the other just before the tail.
6. Cut the meat by inserting the blade into the incision and working as close as possible to the bone, with the blade of the downward blade it slowly and carefully reaches the tail trying to detach as much meat as possible from the central bone.
7. When the tip of the knife reaches the central bone, slightly lift the blade and proceed slowly (in this section the fish is thinner).
8. Arriving with the knife at the bottom of the fish you will have obtained the first fillet. Turn the fish to the other side and proceed in the same way to obtain the second fillet.
9. With a fish tweezer, remove the remaining thorns from the fillets.
According to the preparations, we can use fish fillets with the skin or completely peeled. For this recipe, you need to peel the fillets.
To peel fish fillets, I make a small incision near the tail that allows me to hold the fish, and with the blade slightly inclined downwards we proceed forward to separate the fillet from the skin itself.
A tip: when you use fillets with the skin, make some incisions on the skin to prevent it from shrinking and deforming the fillets during cooking.
A unique flavor!
- 1 large sea bream (about 800 g)
- 1 escarole head
- 6 capers
- 30 g Taggiasca olives
- 1 salted anchovy fillet
- 40 g pine nuts
- 4 sp EVO oil
- 1 sprig of parsley
- ½ glass white wine
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
For the Escarole
- - Wash the escarole but do not dry it.
- - Take a large wok pan with high sides, put it on the heat with 2 tablespoons of oil, the clove of garlic, and the desalted anchovy. As soon as the garlic is browned and the anchovy melted pour the wet escarole directly into the pan, add a pinch of salt and cook covered for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. (if it gets too dry add half a glass of water).
- - After 10 minutes add the Taggiasca olives and if you want the raisins and cook another 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and set aside.
- - Take a small pan and put it to heat on the fire. Pour the
pine nuts and toast for 4 minutes by moving the pan continuously to prevent the pine nuts from burning.
- - Add the toasted pine nuts to the escarole (keep a handful
for the final garnish) and mix everything together.
For the Fish
1. - After cleaning and filleting the sea bream according to the instructions I have given you above, lay the fish fillets in a soup plate with the wine and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. - Take a baking sheet and cover with baking paper.
3. - Place a Coppapasta (it’s the rounded pastry cutter) with a diameter of about 20 cm in the center.
4. - Place the sea bream fillets along the edges of the Coppapasta leaving the center empty. Salt and pepper the fish (with 1 pinch of each).
5. - Place the escarole sautéed with olives and pine nuts in the center. Season with 2 tablespoons of oil.
6. - Sprinkle everything with a spoonful of breadcrumbs.
7. - Turn on the oven at 175 °. As soon as the oven has reached the temperature, put the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes in static mode.
Use of Sultanas on Escarole:
A different option for the Escarole if you like to have a sweet and sour taste, in the place of capers add some Dried Sultanas (about 15 g will be ok). Remember previously to soak the sultanas in warm water for 10 minutes
Add extra salty and crunchy taste:
To add further crunchiness and flavor to this Sea Bream Flan with escarole and Taggiasca Olives, once sea bream is oven cooked, bake it 5 more minutes in grill mode, pouring the surface with a grated Pecorino Romano Cheese.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 595Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 41gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 1000mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 21g
Nutrition Data is automatically calculated and may be not accurate.
I’ll give you a very last tip to have a perfect plating of your amazing Sea Bream Flan.
Once the cooking is finished, put the baking sheet on the countertop. Then to take away the Sea Bream Flan from the baking sheet, place a flat spatula below the Coppapasta. Gently deposit the flan in the middle of a serving plate and then slowly remove the Coppapasta (with the tip of the knife to remove the fish from the edge).
Sprinkle the Sea Bream Flan with a handful of toasted pine nuts and Taggiasca olives and conclude with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
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Here, however, you will find other fantastic Fish and Seafood Recipes with an Italian style for your summer!!