On Saturday, I made a tour with Blee and Mimi to the Shops on Don Mills and Mark McEwan’s new gourmet food store. The store is nice, a cross between Pusateri’s and Whole Foods and you can get foodie stuff there that is out of the ordinary – sea asparagus, $250 bottles of 50 year old balsamic vinegar, caviar, wagyu beef, etc.
I bought a fresh whole orata (a Mediterranean fish, better know in these parts as sea bream). I decided to make a full-on dinner for G as he worked prior to us heading to London. It included homemade strawberry shortcake (the strawberries were from Ontario and came in our organic food basket), fresh melon, fig and prosciutto and then the seabream.
Making your own shortcakes is amazingly easy. Prepare the berries and toss with some sugar and while they macerate, whip together some butter, cream, flour, egg, salt, sugar and baking powder and form a short crust. Form this into rounds and pop them into the oven and, voila, you’re done.
G is the experience fishmonger in our family thanks to a course he did with Blee some time ago and he had me two fillets lickety-split. I prepared Orata All’Uso di Bari (Orata Bari-style), where it marinates in a litre of white wine, olive oil, raisins, garlic, a bay leaf and oregano before being poached in the same liquid. The liquid is then reduced and used as a sauce for the fish.
6) the orata awaits G’s knife; 7) a cut here, a cut there and it’s done
8) the fillets; 9) leave them to marinate for an hour or so and then bring to a gentle simmer
While the fish marinated, I served out the appetiser. It was so yummy. Next time I shall add some maple syrup rather than olive oil though.