Pan Grilled Sea Bream

 

Cast iron utensils were a part of the kitchen since several decades.
There were shinier-than-gold brass and copper vessels. Not to mention the light weight porcelain.
Glass was not to so common then. Lunch was often enjoyed in ‘Kopa’, a large bowl.
When Aluminium and Stainless Steel made their debut, cast iron became a cast away.
They are still maintained and stored carefully for their emotional values.

Stove top grill pans are healthier than cast iron skillet.
Raised strips in the grill pan present the food being cooked with the grill marks.
Partially charred marks add to a kind of unique flavour to the meats and vegetables cooked in it.
Much more than the visual effect is the health. The raised strips keep the food being cooked away from the fats.

Fish monger at the supermarket enquired about the week-end project and suggested to try grilling fish. Sea Bream is fresh, he added. Yes, he was right. Bright clear white eyes with no faded colours. Skin that reflected the light as if newly polished mirror. Reddest possible gills. Firm to touch flesh. Smell of the sea… matched all the descriptions of a fresh fish. The fish looked farmed not caught from sea.

“Sea Bream for dinner”.
Not much of a reaction from the family.
Busy evoking the picture of Sea Bream on the screens.
Many handheld mobile devices lit up.
Sea Bream came on screen.
“Woooooow! Sea Bream…”
And off they went their ways.

It was decided that Sea Bream would be accompanied by steamed vegetables and sautéed mushrooms served with Kubooz. Fish shall be grilled and not fried.

Chose cumin, garam masala, red chili powder, lemon juice, parsley and yogurt combination. Fish was cleaned at the supermarket. But washed and cleaned again to make sure perfectly cleaned fish. Sharpened the 8″ Rostrfrei. (Miyabi would be the dream knife. Awaiting the day when the price drops, but it wouldn’t).

Glass bowl.
Marinade.
Fish goes in.
An hour.
Overnight is best. Always the case.

Pan took under 8 minutes to reach the desired temperature on medium high heat.
That sizzle when the fish touches the pan.
Left undisturbed for 7-8 minutes.

Thin bamboo spatula.
Now time to swap sides.
Another sizzle.
Beautiful black stripes on Sea Bream.
Fat begins to melts and makes one think if they are grilling or frying.
All the fat moves away from the food and settles below the top of the raised strips.
Mechanical timers rings. Its 8 minutes.

(No electronic devices are usually brought into the kitchen except cameras or mobiles.
The photographs seen here are captured with iPhone 7. Smoke and steam must be driven out using the powerful exhaust before attempting to bring in devices.)

Time to steam vegetables.
Zucchini. Broccoli. Sweet Potatoes.

Mushrooms are chopped and sautéed in a dash of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of paprika and seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Thick bottomed copper pans cost their weight in gold. Weighing a ton for its size, cast iron rules the kitchen with years of tradition and memories of dear grandparents behind it.

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