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Suise Atsaides
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  Greek Recipes

Sea Food Main Dishes

Baked Grouper / Orfos sto Fourno

There was a time when large Grouper were commonly caught in our seas. These days, this ‘prime catch’ has become more and more scarce so when one is caught, it is prepared with utmost care for a truly special meal.

 

Ingredients

 
1  8-12lb Grouper. Though any fish or fillet will work well with this recipe if you adjust the quantities. Your fish must be de-scaled, de-gilled, gutted and rinsed. It is also preferable and makes a much more dramatic presentation if the head, tail and fins are left on.
olive oil  
10 cloves garlic  
salt and pepper  
 

You will need a pan big enough to lay the fish in but make sure that it also fits into your oven.

Salt and pepper your fish inside and out. Lay it out in the pan and arrange the garlic cloves around and over the fish. Don’t forget the slit where the fish has been gutted; tuck a few pieces in there too as well as salt and pepper. Pour a generous amount of olive oil over the fish and add a cup or two of water – not a lot as you want the fish to steam mainly in it’s own juices.

Heat your oven to 300F. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, sealing all the edges well and put into the oven to bake. Depending on the size of your fish, you will bake it from 1-2 hours total. It is done when the meat is flaky.

Let the fish stand at room temperature a few minutes before serving. This will make it easier to portion out. Beginning at the neck or tail end and using a spatula or a large flat spoon gently cut into the fish just half way deep so that the utensils run against the spine. This will give you beautiful portions with minimal bones. Remember to spoon some of the broth from the pan over each portion and to serve lemon halves for those that would like a squeeze or two. When the top half of the fish has been served, discard the spine and serve the bottom half.

Susie's Note: In my family, it's the head of the fish that is the most sought after portion. Though I've never been brave enough to try it, they tell me that it truly is the best part. It sort of snaps apart like a softer version of steamed crabs and is eaten pretty much the same way. So if you're daring enough, give it a go!  

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