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Gilthead Baked in a Salt Crust - Dorada a la Sal

Makes 2-3 servings.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

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1 whole gilt-head bream (dorada, bream or sea bass), weighing 2-1/4 lbs or more

4-1/2 lbs coarse sea salt

For the red sauce, mojo colorado:

3 cloves garlic

1 small red chili, to taste, or use pimentón fuerte, hot paprika

1 tsp pimentón

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

Salt and pepper

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Pat the fish dry. Put a layer of the salt in the bottom of an oven pan just large enough to hold the fish. Place the fish on top and mound all of the salt over it. Pat it down firmly. Bake in a preheated 420 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

To serve, lift off the encasing salt and skin. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh onto plates. Remove spine and scoop out remaining flesh.

The sauces commonly served with the fish are alioli, garlic mayonnaise, and aliñ, an oil and lemon dressing. (These recipes accompany other recipes in this article.) Here is a somewhat different sauce from the Canary Islands, where it is served with fish.

For the red sauce (mojo colorado):

In a mortar or blender crush the garlic and chili with the paprika, cumin, oregano, oil, and vinegar. Add water to dilute the mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine

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