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Stuffed Sea Bream with Fennel Sauce

ingredients

serves 4
1 sea bream
1 tablespoon oil

for the stuffing

2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 stick celery, cut into matchsticks
4 leeks, white part only, sliced lengthways
1 tablespoons chopped parsley

for the sauce

1 shallot
1/2 stick (2 oz) 50 g butter
1/3 cup (50 g) 2 oz wholemeal flour
1 bulb fennel, grated
300ml (1/2 pint fish stock or white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper

method

1. Ask the fishmonger to clean the fish, scale and trim off the fins.

2. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a saucepan and gently cook the garlic and prepared vegetables.

3. Put these into the belly of the bream and place the fish on a lightly greased roasting tin.

4. Brush with a little oil and bake in a hot oven 220°c (425°f) gas 7 for about 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make the sauce by finely chopping the shallot, and softening it in the butter over a gentle heat.

6. Add the flour and cook gently for a further 1 to 2 minutes.

7. Add the grated fennel, fish stock or white wine gradually and cook until the sauce is thickened, then season to taste.

8. Remove from the heat and swirl in the double cream or fromage blanc.

9. Present the bream on a heated serving dish, allowing the vegetable stuffing to fall out and form a garnish.

Serve the sauce separately.

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