Happy Valentine’s Day! (Is fish becoming a tradition for us now??)
- 2 lb whole dorade, de-boned, head tail on (branzino works, too)
- 1 large grapefruit, supreme
- 2 small/1 large fennel bulb
- 2 small meyer lemons, sliced thin
- olive oil
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 4 small bay leaves
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- black pepper
- Head medium frying pan over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Swirl. Add lemon slices. Brown each side, 2-3 min. Salt. Set aside. *according to Gordan Ramsay, caramelizing the lemon before baking does something something. I don’t know, honestly. But it looks better, tastes good.
- Rinse fish and pat dry. Rub with olive oil inside and out. Salt/pepper generously inside and out. set aside.
- Cut off fronds of fennel. Slice bulb very thin (a mandolin is handy). Place in bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Salt and toss.
- Take fronds and roughly chop stems into large 3-4 inch long pieces. May need to half lengthwise to flatten the thicker stems out. Grab a handful of the fronds and stuff fish. Take left overs and the stems and spread out over a greased aluminum lined baking pan.
- PREHEAT OVEN 400F
- Supreme your grapefruit. Slice each wedge in half, long wise (making thinner slices). Add slices to fennel. Set salad aside.
- Scrape off remaining flesh/juice from peel over the insides of your fish.
- Roughly chop parsley, stuff a small handful into the fish along with the fennel fronds. Add the rest to the baking pan, spread evenly.
- Add one layer of caramelized lemon inside fish, add one layer of on top of the greens in the baking pan.
- Smash garlic cloves, peel, add 3-4 pieces inside fish, toss the rest on the greens in the baking pan. (you can halve the cloves if too thick)
- Drizzle baking pan greens with a bit more olive oil.
- Lay bay leaves inside the fish. Drizzle inside of fish with a bit more olive oil, salt, close up fish. Top fish with one more layer of lemon slices. Place fish in baking pan, right over the lemons.
- Put in middle rack of oven 25-30 minutes or until center flesh falls easily off the bone with a gentle prod of your fork.
- Serve with fennel/grapefruit salad.