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IN SEASON Tide to A Summer of Sea Bass S


ea bass is a white, meaty fi sh that is extremely versatile. Cooked on the bone or beautifully fi lleted, sea bass can stand up to most dominant fl avours whether you're making a sophisticated dinner party dish or fi ring up the barbecue.


Serving Sea bass Matt Peryer, Head Chef at Lewtrenchard Manor, loves cooking the seasons and is


eagerly anticipating the warmer weather that brings an abundant return of sea bass to South Coast fi shing waters.


Sea bass is a very versatile fi sh, beautiful cooked in many diff erent ways, I would have to say, my favourite way to cook it is the classic way of heating up a pan with a little oil and placing the fi sh skin-side down. T en seasoned with a little sea salt and gently fried for a couple of minutes before being placed in the oven. Finished with butter, thyme and lemon juice, the skin is crisp and the fi sh beautifully fl aky. I also like using sea bass as a starter in the restaurant and love it prepared


ceviche style. Ceviche is when the dish is typically made from fresh raw fi sh cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime. T e fl avours are so fresh and work great with subtle spices. One of my favourite dishes we do at Lewtrenchard is ceviche of sea bass, Devon crab, pickled ginger and a T ai puree.


COOKING SEA BASS ON THE BARBECUE


Here are Fore/Adventure's top tips to cooking sea bass on the barbie;


BASS BY THE SEA


Outdoor adventurers and seaside foragers, Fore/Adventure, like nothing more than to go fi shing for seasonal gems off the Dorset coast.


"Sea bass is always at the top of our ‘catch it’ wish list when we head out on the kayaks and if the sea gods deliver, the Fore family are pleased as punch. There is nothing like cooking your catch on the beach; freshly caught and cooked on a smoky fi re, it’s simply stunning.


Although this beautiful fi sh is one of the nation's favourites, sea bass stocks have faced a decline in recent years and there are strict guidelines for recreational fi shermen to protect the fi sh. Between January 1 to June 30 bass are on catch and release only – but get your practice in this month before you make your prime catch this summer.


From July 1 to December 31 you can catch one per fi sherman, per day in line with the government size limits. From our experience the best time of year to try your luck is between July and September at dawn and dusk."


1 If you're buying your bass from the fi shmonger, ask them to gut but not skin the fi sh as this helps to protect the fl esh from the fi re.


2 To protect your fi sh wrap it in foil. Alternatively, we like to use seaweed which also adds fl avour.


3 Use charcoal, wood or a gas barbecue and slash the fi sh on both sides of the body to let the fl avour permeate.


4 Spread garlic butter on the fl esh and in the cavity, or with oil, salt and lemon.


5 The sea bass, size-dependent, will cook in approximately 15 minutes; fl ipping halfway through the cooking process. The fi sh is ready when the fl esh fl akes away from the bone.


6 Serve with a mixed green salad, new potatoes fi nished on the barbecue and a herb sauce or butter.


44 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


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