Baked bream with ’nduja aioli, and crispy straw potatoes

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Bream 9472

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Ingredients

  • 4 medium sea bream descaled, gutted and fins removed
  • 4 sprigs lemon thyme
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled, thinly shredded on a mandoline and soaked in cold water
  • 200ml sunflower oil, for frying

For the ’nduja aioli

  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 11⁄2tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 11⁄2tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp Italian ’nduja or Spanish sobrasada

Method

To make the aioli, whisk the egg yolks, mustard, garlic and vinegar in a bowl to combine. Slowly add the sunflower oil, whisking continually and holding the bowl with a cloth so it doesn’t slip. As the mixture starts to emulsify and thicken, add the oil a little bit faster.

After the 150ml of the sunflower oil has been used up, add the lemon juice and continue adding the olive oil in a slow but steady stream until it gets thicker and all the oil has been used up. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary and season with sea salt. Loosely fold in the 'nduja, then put in the fridge until needed.

Score the skin around the backbone of each fish from the head to the tail and make 4 diagonal slashes on both sides. Place the fish on a foil-lined baking tray. Put a piece of lemon thyme in the cavity of each fish and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and spoon over the olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/Gas 6 and bake the fish on the middle shelf for 11 minutes. Turn the oven off and switch on the grill to high. Grill the bream for 4 minutes – be careful it doesn't brown too much. Remove and cover loosely with foil to rest and keep warm.

Rinse the shredded potato, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the sunflower oil, then fry the potato for about 1 minute until golden and crispy. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Serve the fish and potatoes with a little 'nduja aioli and watercress.

Food styling and recipes by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.
Bream 9472
Food styling and recipes by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.

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