Having lived in the Algarve for over 10 years now and loving all of the fresh food one can eat here, my wife pointed out that although I am a great fan of the wonderful seafood I am still a bit of a novice when it comes to eating fish.
I am not a fan of small fish bones and that always has put me off diving into trying the wonderful larder that the coasts of the Algarve have to offer.
So this year I have been trying a whole new side of the Portuguese diet and sampling and cooking an array of fish, which has led me to discover Turbot. Oh my, what a tasty dish I have discovered! I decided that after having it cooked for me, I would give it a go and this is the result of my endeavors.
I have applied the KISS principle here… Keep It Simple Stupid!
Turbot is a relatively expensive fish therefore you could follow this recipes with lemon sole, halibut and John Dory, they would all work well.
It is a very simple recipe, but with good fish the taste is really brought out well by the vinegar. Adding sprigs of rosemary will enhance the charcoal or gas grill.
The fish stands out on its own and as my granddad used to say: “It don’t need no messing about with”. But a plate of braised fennel with sautéed or plain potatoes with olive oil goes really well with this meaty fish. A friend of mine called Turbot “The King of Fish” and I now know why!
Cooking and preparation time: 35 mins
■ 1 whole (1.5kg-2kg ish) turbot
■ 6 sprigs of rosemary
■ Sea salt
■ 2½ fl oz/75ml cider vinegar
■ 3½ fl oz/100ml good olive oil
Get your BBQ up to a hot temperature (220 degrees) and prepare for indirect cooking.
Put the fish in a large oven tray, season well with salt and pepper on the skin and in the cavity.
Cook indirectly for 20 minutes then remove to have a look.
If the fish is almost cooked (pull a little from the bone to see) tuck the rosemary branches around the fish and pour over the vinegar and oil.
Spread the charcoal on the BBQ or switch you gas BBQ over to direct cooking and cook the fish for about five minutes to finish the cooking and brown a little bit.
Remove from the heat and rest for a couple of minutes and to appease the fussy fish eaters and their fear of bones remove sections of the fish from the bones and serve with the potatoes, fennel. Enjoy!
By Chris Winstanley