Sea Bass Stuffed With Prunes and Tamarind
Have a craving for some creative seafood? Consider the following recipe "Sea Bass Stuffed With Prunes and Tamarind" from Sophie Braimbridge's "Stylish Mediterranean" (Kyle Books).
Sea Bass Stuffed With Prunes and Tamarind Serves 4
- 2 1-pound sea bass, sea breams or other round fish
- 1 ounce almonds
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce pinenuts
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 heaped teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Small pinch of saffron
- 21/2 ounces pitted prunes
- Zest and juice of 1 large lime (about 4 tablespoons of juice)
- 2 heaped teaspoons tamarind paste
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ask the fishmonger to scale, gut and clean the fish. Rinse the fish inside and out just before cooking to remove any remaining blood. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
Put a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 F. Gently heat a lidded saute pan or skillet. Coarsely chop the almonds and add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pan, along with the almonds and pinenuts. Finely chop the onion and garlic and grate the ginger, adding each ingredient to the pan as you go. Cover the pan and cook over a medium-high heat until the nuts are light golden brown and the onions are soft.
Meanwhile, soak the saffron in 1 tablespoon water and chop the prunes into quarters. When the onions are soft, add the saffron liquid, prunes, lime juice, tamarind, and sugar. Mix briefly over the heat then remove and set aside.
Cut 2 pieces of aluminum foil large enough to enclose each fish. Place them on the counter and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil in the center of each sheet to prevent the fish from sticking too much. Place the fish on top. Divide the onion mixture between the two fish, placing some inside the cavity and the rest on top. Drizzle the remaining tablespoons of oil over the fish. Season with salt and pepper and scatter 1/2 tablespoon over cilantro over each fish and 1 tablespoon water over each. Wrap up the fish and seal the foil tightly so no air can escape.
Place the fish on the preheated baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes. Carefully open one foil parcel to check if the fish is just cooked -- the eye should look opaque, or the color of poached eggs. Return to the oven for a few minutes longer if it is not ready.
Serve with the remaining cilantro sprinkled over each fish.