Recipe: Sea bream baked in paper with garlic, olive oil, chilli and rosemary 

Sea bream baked in paper with garlic, olive oil, chilli & rosemary

Sea bream baked in paper with garlic, olive oil, chilli & rosemary - Credit: Chris Terry

Mitch Tonks shares an easy supper dish from his new book, The Rockfish Cookbook 

Cooking a fish ‘en papillote’, or in a bag, is an excellent way to prepare it. The fish retains its moistness and the other flavours that you add really get a chance to develop with the flavours of the fish to create something quite magical. The combination of roasted garlic, chilli and rosemary is a good one, as is thyme, lemon and cumin. But you will find your own preferences. 

Look for wild gilt head or black bream, or use farmed gilt head bream, which are delicious and perfectly acceptable. Ask your fishmonger to scale and gut the fish and remove the head. 

Sea bream baked in paper with garlic, olive oil, chilli and rosemary

Serves 2 

8 garlic cloves 

100ml olive oil 

Most Read

2 whole sea bream, weighing about 450g each, head removed 

1 small fresh bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced 

4 sprigs of rosemary 

50ml white wine 

finely chopped parsley 

salt 

Method: Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place your garlic cloves, with the skin on, on a small roasting tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until soft – you should be able to squeeze the garlic from the skin. If not then just cook a little longer. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Click here to get Dorset grown asparagus and wine delivered to your door

Turn up the oven to its maximum heat. Cut out two pieces of baking parchment large enough to enclose each fish. Lay the parchment on the worktop and place the fish on it. Sprinkle the chilli over the fish and place the peeled roasted garlic around it. Tuck some rosemary into the belly. Sprinkle with salt and pour over the rest of the olive oil. Fold the paper up and over the fish, just before you seal it up completely, pour the wine into the corner, then finish sealing. 

Place the parchment bags on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes. Cut the paper open, sprinkle the fish with chopped parsley and serve straight from the bag.  

Recipe is from The Rockfish Cookbook by Mitch Tonks, published on 17 May at £18.

Mitch Tonks with skipper Nick Rich who catches the fish for the Rockfish restaurants

Mitch Tonks with skipper Nick Rich who catches the fish for the Rockfish restaurants - Credit: Ed Ovenden

Mitch’s recipes are always a true celebration of seafood, a combination of simplicity, taste and zeal. This, his sixth cookbook, continues to show how easy it is to eat sustainable British seafood informally with minimum fuss and maximum joy. Simple and accessible dishes creating occasions to savour as you share delicious food with family and friends.

Rockfish Poole, one of two Dorset Rockfish locations the other is in Weymouth 

Rockfish Poole, one of two Dorset Rockfish locations the other is in Weymouth - Credit: therockfish.co.uk

Learning to cook dishes from Singapore chilli crab to pizza claminara, the book reflects the changing catch and the changing scenery of coastal life through summer and in winter; with stunning food photography from Chris Terry and foreword from Nathan Outlaw.

Buy direct from the Rockfish website or at their Rockfish restaurants in Poole or Weymouth. Pre-orders are available here

Mitch Tonks' latest book is out on May 17 

Mitch Tonks' latest book is out on May 17 - Credit: Chris Terry

SUBSCRIBE: To Dorset Magazine app for the very best of food and drink, walking, history, lifestyle and more.