Fish Baked in Salt with Romesco Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
20 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
6 servings

Ingredients
  • One 4 to 5 pound whole sea bream or bass, porgy, New Zealand snapper, or sheepshead (gutted but not scaled)
  • 6 pounds coarse or kosher salt
  • 1 recipe Romesco Sauce, recipe follows
  • Romesco Sauce:
  • 2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup fruity Spanish olive oil
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the whole fish and pat it dry. In a heavy casserole large enough to hold the fish and all the salt, make a 2 inch layer of salt. Make a shallow, fish-shaped impression in the salt and lay the fish on top. Distribute the remaining salt around and over the fish so that it is completely covered. Pat the salt down gently, cover the casserole and bake for about 1 hour. Remove the cover and tap the salt to break it (it will have formed an armor-like crust). Break the crust and pull off most of the salt. Then peel away and discard the skin. Serve the flesh immediately, accompanied by the Romesco Sauce.

Romesco Sauce:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes. Toast the almonds for 10 to 15 minutes, watching closely. Cool the almonds completely, then grind them in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily. Add the vinegar soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Yield: 1 cup


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