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Roasted Royal Sea Bream with Savory and
Ginger-Orange Butter



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Phare du Four, Bretagne
Phare du Four, Bretagne
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Guichard, Jean
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La Belle Cuisine


La daurade royale rôtie à la sarriette
et au gingembre
(Roasted Royal Sea Bream with Savory
and Ginger-Orange Butter)

Roger Verge's New
Entertaining in the French Style

by Roger Verge, Pierre Hussenot, Photographer,
September 1997, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Ease: Easy
Cost: Moderately expensive
Yield: 6 servings


1 royal sea bream, 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 pounds (2 - 2.5 kg)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch fresh savory [Another herb may be
substituted if fresh savory is not available.]
8 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces (90 g) fresh ginger
3 oranges
8 1/2 tablespoons butter

Shopping:  The royal sea bream is one of the most noble saltwater
fish. You can save a bit of money if you fish for it yourself. It can be
recognized by its steel-gray color and slightly truncated pug-nosed
snout topped by a slight golden bump. Ask the fish merchant to scale
and gut it.
Savory is also known as “pèbre d’ase: (“ass’s pepper”) at the
Provençal farmers markets.
I prefer Thompson oranges for this recipe, as the oranges should
be seedless.

2 hours ahead:
  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the sea bream.
Stuff it with several stems of savory and spread the remainder in an
even layer on a baking dish. Place the fish on top of the savory and
sprinkle it with oil. Put 3-4 tablespoons of water on the bottom of
the dish, making sure it doesn’t come in contact with the fish. Set
the platter in a cool area, but not in the refrigerator.
Peel and finely grate the ginger. Grate the zest of 1/2 orange. Cut off
the skin of the 3 oranges. Section the oranges over a bowl to catch the
dripping juice.
50 minutes before serving:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (240 C).
30 minutes before serving:
  Bake the sea bream for 15 minutes (10
minutes for 2 smaller fish). Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F
(180 C) and cook for 20 minutes more. Check the fish: if the water
has completely evaporated, add a bit more.
Just before serving:
  Put the reserved orange juice in a small saucepan
with 1 pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cut the butter into small pieces and
briskly whisk it into the boiling juice, stirring constantly until the sauce
is perfectly emulsified.
Add the grated ginger and orange zest. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
Put the orange sections in a sauce boat and pour the sauce on top.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the sea bream is cooked, present it on an attractive hot platter.
Bring it to the table accompanied with the sauceboat of ginger-
orange butter.
The sea bream can be replaced with any other firm-
fleshed saltwater fish such as red snapper or sea bass.

Wine suggestions:  Choose a round, dry white wine, such as a Pouilly-Fumé
(Loire) or a Hermitage, or a northern Côtes-du-Rhône white, a bit spicy with
a complex nose. These wines should be served at 46-50 degrees F (8-10 C).

Featured Archive Recipes:
Dorade Farcie Grillée
(Grilled Stuffed Sea Bream)

Blanquette de Loup de Mer aux Poireaux
(Sea Bass in White Wine with Leeks)

Roger Vergé's Recipes from the Heart of France

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