Baked Dorado with Caramelized Fennel and Red Pepper Sauce




Dorado (Tsipoura in Greek, and also known as gilt head fish) is my favorite of the "large" fish. It is quite fleshy, which means it is easier to keep moist, and it is delicious. Fennel is a wonder vegetable, nutrition wise, and in a caramelized form, utterly comforting. And the red pepper sauce is also incredibly nutritious and perfect to bind the whole dish together flavor wise.

For the fennel:

1. Fennel, 1 large pc, cut in half

Steam it for 15 minutes. Let it cool and cut it in quarters. In a pan, over medium but steady heat, melt:


2. 2 tbsp of butter

3. 1 tbsp of sugar (which you can omit if it is an issue)

Once sizzling, add fennel quarters and let caramelize about 8 minutes on each side, mindful of the heat level so as not to burn them. Turn heat off.

For the sauce, in a small pot add:


4. Red Pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped, 100 gr

5. Vegetable stock, 150 ml (or other stock, or even plain water, even though the flavor will be considerably thinner)


Boil gently for 20 minutes and puree using a hand blender. Push through a strainer in a clean bowl. Allow to slightly cool before finishing the sauce off, while cooling the fish in the oven (see below)

6. Gilt head, 1 pc, medium sized, about 800 gr, cleaned from intestines, scaled, oiled and salted.

Stuff the belly with lemon slices. This helps it stay moist while cooking, because it covers the void that would otherwise cause the belly to cook faster, and bake for about 30 minutes. Turn oven off, and place caramelized fennel in the oven with the fish to warm up, while finishing off the sauce.

To finish the sauce, place the bowl on top of a pot filled with water but not touching it (ben marie) and add:

7. Egg Yolks, 2 pcs


Whisk continuously, until the sauce thickens to ribbon consistency, about 10 minutes, take bowl off the pot and add:

8. Butter, cold, 30 gr

Whisk smooth and adjust seasoning with salt.

Remove skin from fish (this should be very easily done with your hand), place each fillet on a plate with two fennel quarters, and pour sauce over.


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