Friday, July 25, 2008

Recipe & the Hunt - Super Duper Basted Bronze Bream with Garlic Implants

Last Sunday evening I made new ground in the field of bronze bream - not my best fish but the best I have cooked it.
Now you can see me take the fish from a cave on the Kapodistrias and then witness its cooking along with another.
The water was 15.6 degrees C - coldish for my liking here in Port Elizabeth. For instance if I knew the temp was 15.6 on the RIY banks I would rather not go there for a dive as yellowtail would most likely be absent and one would have to settle for romans, red stumpnose, small bronze bream and perhaps a scotsman and a banksteenbras. If you are lucky you may get a fair sized moustache rockcod or a yellowbelly.

Anyway I headed off to the bay and found 2 m viz max and it was colder - I stopped of at the Kapo on the return trip and found bronze bream.
I took one out of a "conference cave" where many fish circled back and forth in the surge. In the clip below you can see the small stones and pieces of manganese ore from the ships cargo being lifted and tumbled by the surge. Despite the surge I managed to keep my position to get the clip.

As I pulled the bream up it was popular amongst the well conditioned frenchies - they get a snack or s sniff of a snack in the presence of spearfishermen:

You can see the clip on my YouTube channel:

the Bronze Bream Baste

80 g butter - melted in a bowl,
60 mL olive oil,
½ teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon curry powder,
60 mL balsamic vinegar,
12 g fresh garlic – two large cloves – crushed
six large basil leaves chopped, basil flowers may also be added (~2 teaspoons),
20 mL Kikkoman soy sauce(salty)
20 mL red wine

Mix the above together and stir before application to list settled material off the bottom.

Here the fish and extras await the heat:

Stab the fish about five times with a small sharp knife to make 2cm deep holes into the flesh – into each hole push a slice of a garlic clove. These garlic implants will enhance the flavour. Also place a slice to two of garlic in the spear wound.

Get a fire going and allow it to burn down to hot coals. Keep an extra piece of hard wood for the magic smoking wand to be used later.

While the fire burns down and you contemplate your next dive over a glass of wine or a beer instruct your wife to cut up a butternut squash or two and wrap it in foil, while she is at it she can do a few small sweet potatoes in foil too.

Put the fish on a rotatable grid as is and place on the hot coals for about 10-20 minutes - scales and skin on. When you turn the fishes this is what they should look like:

Leave the skin on till the other side is as well done, peel of the skin - comes off easily, baste generously and be sure to get the yummy bits of spice that settle in the baste onto the fish. Turn the freshly basted side down and keep the skin on the newly cooked side until you are ready to turn, then baste and turn.

Whenever the fish is exposed to the heat and you turn it apply more baste. Even when it is on its way to the table a final baste will not go wrong.

It was great especially with the green chilly, parsley and basil sauce.

Now bronze bream were never really that nice to me - normally I would put them on the fire peel and hand over to the pets but now I might keep a few more to eat myself.

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