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Orata: Gilthead Seabream

Orata Bari Style, or Orata All'Uso di Bari

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Orata: Gilthead Seabream

Orata: Gilthead Seabream

Kyle Phillips © 2006 Licensed to About.Com

The Orata was sacred to Aphrodite in ancient times, and it's difficult to fault the Greeks for the consecration: they're among the most sought-after fish in Italian markets, and at a more general level, Alan Davidson says gilthead bream are "an excellent fish, widely regarded as the best of the bream family."

I cannot but agree; one of the finest fish I have ever enjoyed was a baked royal daurade (its French name) prepared by Philippe Poniatowski, War Hero and later a superb winemaker.

If you want to try something very different from the above Baked Royal Daurad, how about:

Orata Bari Style, Orata All'Uso di Bari

To serve 4:
An orata weighing 2 1/2 pounds (1.2 k), cleaned and scaled
Half an onion, finely sliced
A clove of garlic, minced
A small bunch or parsley, minced
A bay leaf, quartered
2 ounces (50 g) sultana raisins, plumped in warm water
A quart (1 l) dry white wine (you won't use it all)
A scant cup (200 ml) extravirgin olive oil (you won't use it all)
Salt and pepper to taste
A heated serving dish

Fillet the fish (instructions if need be) and put the fillets in a pan; sprinkle the pieces with the parsley, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and raisins, season with salt and pepper, and add white wine to cover. Let the fish rest an hour.

When the time is up, set the pan over a burner, bring it to a simmer, and cook the fillets for 10 minutes or until done.

Transfer the fillets to the heating dish, turn the heat up and concentrate the sauce, and when it is reduced some -- a few minutes will be enough -- spoon it over the fish. Add a drizzle of olive oil, and serve at once.

Orata on About:
Thai Whole Fish with Coriander-Chili Sauce
Greek Grilled Fish

How to Select Fresh Fish
How to Serve a Whole Fish at Table
Other Fish Recipes

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