23.08.2017
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21.07.2017

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6.5lt

Juicy, succulent, tasty gilt head sea bream (dorade) cooked with minimal effort in the slow cooker. One of the best and easiest ways to cook fish. Ever.

Have you tried fish in the slow cooker? It might seem like a strange way to cook it, since the general rule for fish is hot and fast – quite the opposite to the low and slow philosophy of the crockpot. But it works brilliantly.

I’ve cooked fish in the slow cooker before, but it was a fillet. You can find the recipe here and use google translate or just send me a message if you want info. That is, if you can even call it a recipe; it’s so so simple I don’t know if it qualifies!

Gilt Head Bream (Dorade) – How to cook a whole fish in the slow cooker www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a close view of a raw gilt head bream, lying on a piece of baking paper prepped for cooking. There are some lemon slices barely visible, protruding from the cavity together with some fresh oregano sprigs. Some more lemon and oregano sprigs decorate the top of the fish.

I was curious to see if slow cooking a whole fish has the same great results as cooking a fillet. It does. I used baking/parchment paper for each individual fish in this case, because I wasn’t sure how the skin would behave. I didn’t want it sticking all over the stoneware, or melting onto the other fish underneath it. I think I needn’t have worried, but I can’t say for sure. So use the paper to be on the safe side.

I used gilt head sea bream (dorade) which is a very popular fish in Greece, and it can easily be found in supermarkets and fish mongers’. I’m sure you can choose your favourite fish instead. Just make sure it has been gutted and descaled before cooking. I also kept the other ingredients few and simple. Some olive oil, lemon and fresh oregano. You can use whatever you prefer; feel free to follow this as a guide, not a recipe. You could switch herbs, or add orange or anything else you fancy. Just keep in mind that the cooking time is quite short so don’t use anything that would take longer.

Gilt Head Bream (Dorade) – How to cook a whole fish in the slow cooker www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Same as previous photo, only a further away view of the fish prepped for cooking. Around it are a ball of string, some vintage scissors, some lemon wedges and a small ceramic bowl of coarse salt.

Talking of cooking time, this is a hard one the pin down. It will depend on the size of the fish, the quantity of fish, the size of the cooking pot, and the power of the individual appliance (some cook faster than others). Keep one thing in mind. The fuller the pot, the longer it needs. So if you fill up your pot with 3-4 large fish, you will need to allow more time for them to cook. If you put one little guy in a huge slow cooker, it’s going to be done in no time. I chose my 6.5lt cooker for two fish each weighing about 350 grams. The pot was about half full. Check your fish regularly the first time you try it, and then you’ll have an idea of timings for next time. It’s done when the flesh comes off the bone easily. Don’t let it overcook as it will dry out!

Can I just say again, slow cookers are not just for winter (who wants to turn on the oven in a heatwave?). They are also not just for stews. Hopefully by looking at the relevant category here on my blog, you’ve already noticed that! What unusual things do you like to cook in the slow cooker?

Gilt Head Bream (Dorade) – How to cook a whole fish in the slow cooker www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: the fish (not visible) wrapped in the baking paper. The packet is lying across the metal plate, a piece of string holding it in place. To the bottom of the packet are some lemon wedges.

Ingredients

2 gilt head sea breams (dorade) about 350gr each, whole, gutted and descaled

4-8 slices of lemon

2 tsp olive oil

fresh oregano, a few sprigs

any other seasoning, spices or herbs you fancy

1/4 cup water

Step 1

Put each fish on a piece of baking paper. Place one or two slices of lemon inside the cavity, and one or two on top of the sea bream. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on each fish and place the oregano sprigs on top. Bring up the edges of the paper and pinch them together as if sealing a pie. It doesn’t have to be completely closed, don’t worry if it doesn’t stay put.

Step 2

Pour the water in the bottom of the cooking pot and place the fish packets inside, pinched side up. Stacked is fine, and it’s also fine if the paper is touching the sides, or if the fish aren’t lying completely straight (mine were a little longer than my pot). Cook on high for 90 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Check often so you don't overcook!

Note:
Don’t mind the string in the photo, it’s there purely for food styling purposes! No need to tie the packages.

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