Baked Sea Bream A La Spetsiota is a delicious summery dish of baked fish along with potatoes and tomato sauce.
This is a traditional recipe from the island of Spetses in Greece. And it's a fish recipe that's very hearty and filling. Because the fish and the potatoes get pan-fried first before being topped with the tomato sauce and get baked in the oven.
And as you can imagine the results are pretty flavorful.
So how do you make Sea Bream A La Spetsiota?
It's simple, you make a thick tomato sauce first. Use both tomato sauce and fresh grated tomatoes (the ripest the better). And also onion, garlic, dried oregano, bay leaf, and ground coriander. Cook for a few minutes along with some water until it thickens.
Then pan-fry the potatoes which need to be cut into thin slices. If you wish you may leave the skins on. You needn't cook the potatoes all the way through. All you need is to give them some color (and flavor along with it).
And then clean and prepare the fish, season it with salt, and coat it with flour. Pan-fry it in a hot splash of olive oil until the fish gets a golden color and forms a thin crust on both sides.
Then take a baking dish I used one that's 25 x 20 cm (10 x 8-inch) in size as this fitted my fish. But you can adjust the dish or pan size according to the size of your fish and especially if you're cooking more than one for example.
Add a layer of tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish and then place first the potatoes and then the fish. Add another layer of sauce over the fish and you are ready to bake!
Can I Use Sea Bream Fillet Or Other Fish To Make It?
One little thing that some people may not like about this dish is the fact that this fish comes with bones. And the sauce isn't making it any easier to remove them while you eat.
So even though this is the traditional way of making this dish you can of course go ahead and use Sea Bream Fillet. If you do so when it's time to pan-fry the fish do so for no more than one minute on each side. And also reduce the baking time to 10-15 minutes. You may also want to pan-fry the potatoes a little longer if using fish fillet so they get baked at the same time as the fish.
Other fish you can use to make this recipe are Perch fillet, cod fillet, and swordfish steak.
Want To Skip The Potatoes?
You can add pan-fried zucchinis instead of the potatoes. Just cut them into thicker slices. They go so nicely together. Or simply use fine green beans and bake them together with the fish.
Side Dishes To Serve With
Serve with a refreshing salad like this Vinegar Coleslaw (Greek Cabbage Salad), or a Classic Greek Salad. Or if you want to turn your dinner into a real Greek feast serve this delish fish with this crispy and fresh Zucchini pie.
Baked Sea Bream With Tomato Sauce And Potatoes
For The Sauce:
- 1 small (65 gram) red onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium-sized (330 grams) tomatoes ripe grated with hand grater
- 6 tablespoons tomato sauce (Passata)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅕ teaspoon ground coriander
For The Fish:
- olive oil
- 2 small (260 grams) potatoes peeled and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) thick slices
- 1 400-500 gram (14-17 oz) Sea Bream whole
- all purpose flour
- chopped parsley to serve with
Prepare The Sauce:
- In a small saucepan heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden in color. Then add the grated tomato, tomato sauce, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Then pour ¼ cup (60 ml) water and bring to a simmer again. Add the bay leaf, oregano, and coriander.
- Drop heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens.
Prepare The Potatoes:
- Cover the bottom of a non-stick pan with olive oil. And heat over high heat.
- Tap dry the potato slices with some paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pan-fry the potatoes for 1-2 minutes on each side until they get just a hint of color. Transfer on paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
Prepare The Fish:
- Prepare the fish. Remove the scales and innards. Rinse well under cold running water. Then tap dry with paper towels.
- Season the fish with salt.
- Cover the bottom surface of a large non-stick pan (one that fits the fish) with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Coat the fish in flour and shake to remove excess.
- Pan-fry the fish for about 2 minutes on each side. Just until it gets a deep golden color. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add a layer of tomato sauce to a 25 x 20 cm (10 x 8-inch) baking dish. Add a splash of water in as well. Lay the potato slices on top. Then add the fish on top of the potatoes. Add remaining sauce to coat the body of the fish.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes without letting the sauce get too dark in color on top.
- Serve with fresh chopped parsley.
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