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Dorade Farcie Grillée
(Grilled Stuffed Sea Bream)



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"Fish, to taste right, must swim three times -
in water, in butter, and in wine."
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Dorade Farcie Grillée

(Grilled Stuffed Sea Bream)

Saveur Cooks Authentic French

by the Editors of Saveur Magazine,
1999, Chronicle Books


Serves 4

Saveur - One Year Subscription 

“Sea Bream is one of the Mediterranean’s tastiest fish.
Striped bass may be substituted in this recipe from
Joël Guillet of Le Mas du Langoustier on the
Île de Porquerolles.”

1 large red bell pepper
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
6 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large shallots, peeled and minced
12 Niçoise olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 anchovies, finely chopped
Four 1-pound sea bream, porgy, or striped bass,
deboned, with heads removed and reserved
for stock
6 small leeks, trimmed, washed and
thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
8 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat broiler. Place pepper and tomatoes on a baking sheet,
drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the oil, and broil, turning
the pepper 3 - 4 times, until pepper is charred and tomatoes are
soft, 12 - 15 minutes. Remove from broiler, set tomatoes aside,
and transfer pepper to a small bowl. Cover bowl with plastic and
set aside. When pepper is cool, halve, remove and discard seeds
and veins, then peel, coarsely chop, season to taste with salt and
pepper, and set aside.
2. Coarsely chop tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper,
and set aside separately from peppers. Heat 2 tablespoons of
the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the
shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add
olives, anchovies, and peppers and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes, cook for 30  seconds more, season to taste with
salt and pepper, then set aside to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees [F]. Heat a grill pan over high heat.
Lay fish out flat, butterfly fashion, then brush skin with oil, season
to taste with salt and pepper, and fold closed into original shape.
Grill fish in pan, turning once, about 1 minute per side, then trans-
fer fish to a clean surface. Open fish, then spoon a quarter of the
tomato mixture into each one. Fold each fish closed and transfer to
a large baking dish. Bake until fish flake easily, about 7 minutes,
then remove from oven, cover with foil, and keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over
medium heat. Add leeks and 2 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring
frequently, until leeks are soft and pan almost dry, 5 – 8 minutes.
Season leeks to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
5. Combine lemon juice, wine, and remaining shallots in a medium
saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce liquid by three-
quarters, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, crumble in
saffron, gradually whisk in butter, and season to taste with salt and
pepper. Divide leeks between 4 plates. Arrange fish over leeks,
then spoon sauce around it.

The Real Thing

“The Romans admired the daurade royale, or gilthead bream so much that
they farmed it in Lake Lucrino, near Naples, fattening the fish on a diet
of oysters – which were opened fresh for them day and night. The modern
French agree. There are said to be as many as 22 varieties of bream in the
Mediterranean alone, as well as a dozen or so close relatives, known as
porgies, in North American waters (and more still in the Caribbean), but
the gilthead is widely regarded to be the regal head of the family. Fished
from May to October, and weighing as much as seven pounds, it bears a
golden crescent on its forehead, and has firm, white, delicately flavored
flesh. The French sometimes call it ‘la vraie daurade’, the real one, and
even give it the honor of its own spelling: Lesser varieties of the fish
are commonly called dorade instead.
Another very good fish is the pagre, or couch’s sea bream, which is the Mediterranean bream also found on the American side of the Atlantic
(it is sometimes sold as red porgy in the U.S.); it is this variety that chef Joël
Guillet at Le Mas du Langoustier on the Île de Porquerolles (proprietors
Georges Richard and Marie Caroline Le Ber) likes to use for the dish. Other
bream consumed in France include the denté, or dentex (literally ‘toothy’;
its prominent lower jaw boasts as many as six canine teeth); the sar doré,
or two-banded bream; the dorade rose, or red sea bream (also known as the
fausse dorade, or false dorade, and as gros yeux, or big eyes); and the dorade
grise, or black sea bream. All of these can be quite delicious, and all are less expensive than the daurade royale.”

Featured Archive Recipes:
Roasted Royal Sea Bream with Savory and
Ginger-Orange Butter

Blanquette de Loup de Mer aux Poireaux
Grilled Tuna with Niçoise Butter Sauce

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