Bar Le Côte Sea Bream Finished Dish
Thomas J. Story
Yields 4 Servings
AuthorBrad Mathews, of Bar Le Côte

“Cooking whole fish is a great way to utilize the entire product, and it is a fun and classic way to cook for your guests,” says chef Brad Mathews. “At Bar Le Côte we use dry-aged sea bream from the Joint Eatery, but you can use any whole fish. The texture of the dry-aged fish offers an extra-crispy skin and a more consistent cook. We serve this sea bream with Romesco, a classic Spanish sauce made from roasted peppers, sherry vinegar, and almonds.” 

How to Make It

1

Season the fish inside and out with salt, stuff with lemon slices, and set aside.

2

To make the Romesco, combine bell peppers, almonds, garlic, paprika, cayenne, and vinegar in a food processor and pulse until it has a semi-smooth yet chunky texture. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

3

Drizzle in the olive oil and fold in with a spatula.

4

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the sea bream on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake 8–10 minutes. You want the skin to get some color and become crispy, but not burned. After baking, peek inside the body cavity of the fish to make sure it is cooked to about medium. If the fish isn’t cooked or the skin needs more color, increase temperature to 450° and cook a few minutes more. Carefully transfer the sea bream onto a serving platter. Place a ramekin of romesco and the 1⁄2 lemon on the platter, and garnish with parsley.

Ingredients

FOR THE SEA BREAM
 1 large whole sea bream, scaled, gutted, and cleaned, ribs and spines removed
 1 tbsp sea salt
 1 lemon, cut into 1⁄4-inch slices
 Garnish: 1⁄2 lemon, chopped Italian parsley
FOR THE ROMESCO SAUCE
 3 roasted red bell peppers
 ½ cup toasted almonds
 8 garlic cloves, peeled
 2 tbsp Spanish smoked paprika
 1 tsp cayenne pepper
 2 tbsp aged sherry vinegar
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

1

Season the fish inside and out with salt, stuff with lemon slices, and set aside.

2

To make the Romesco, combine bell peppers, almonds, garlic, paprika, cayenne, and vinegar in a food processor and pulse until it has a semi-smooth yet chunky texture. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

3

Drizzle in the olive oil and fold in with a spatula.

4

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the sea bream on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake 8–10 minutes. You want the skin to get some color and become crispy, but not burned. After baking, peek inside the body cavity of the fish to make sure it is cooked to about medium. If the fish isn’t cooked or the skin needs more color, increase temperature to 450° and cook a few minutes more. Carefully transfer the sea bream onto a serving platter. Place a ramekin of romesco and the 1⁄2 lemon on the platter, and garnish with parsley.

Whole Roasted Sea Bream with Romesco Sauce