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Fish of the month recipe for Bream, Black or porgy or seabream

Black bream with warm tomato and caper salsa

Black bream with warm tomato and caper salsa This is a lovely way to serve slightly stronger flavoured, fatty fish such as bream. Concentrated flavours of tangy tomatoes, piquant capers and pungent garlic cut through the oily, richness of the fish and are reminiscent of Spanish and southern Italian dishes. The sauce is embarrassingly simple to make and can be prepared well in advance but delivers a fantastic dish.


2 black bream, descaled, filleted and pin boned
1 clove garlic
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tbs capers
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Serves 2


I prefer to fillet my fish as it makes it easier to eat and less scary for occasional fish eaters. However, with thinner fish such as bream you can also cut off the fins and head, cut deep slashes in the sides and then fry or grill them whole. Cooking will take a little longer and you have to be careful not to overcook them.


Put the oil and garlic in a small pan over a low heat and fry the garlic until it is just turning golden. Add the tomatoes and capers and simmer gently until the tomatoes are soft (about 10 minutes) then keep warm
Season to taste. If using salted capers (rather than brined) you may need to add a small squeeze of lemon juice to give the sauce a bit of tartness. Add a splash of water if the pan has become too dry and oily
Heat a large frying pan until almost smoking. Cut three deep slashes through the skin of the bream fillets, rub the skin with a little salt and then rub with olive oil
Put the fillets into the pan, skin side down, and press them down for the first 20 seconds or so (until they stop trying to curl up)
Leave the fillets to cook for about 2 minutes, until they have cooked 2/3 of the way through (the cooked meat will have turned white). Remove the pan from the heat and turn the fillets over carefully (the skin should be golden and crisp) and leave them to cook for another minute or so Plate the fillets in a stack with the warm salsa spooned over the top and serve immediately. Ideal accompaniments are boiled new potatoes, lightly crushed and dressed with spring onions and olive oil, and steamed green beans.

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Ian Jarmarkier

Ian Jarmarkier

I run Streamcombe Cookery School and Bed and Breakfast, with my wife Karen. Having started out with a mechanical engineering degree, my career in food was born from a personal interest in food and time spent travelling with work. I am particularly fond of the Spanish and Italian style of cooking, where excellent ingredients are treated simply to accentuate their qualities. My courses focus on how to create great tasting, interesting and attractive dishes, with an emphasis on understanding the technical aspects of what is happening when we cook. I am essentially self-taught, but during my past 15 years in food I have had the amazing fortune to work with a great range of food producers, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, farmers, other food experts along with numerous leading and well known chefs. Streamcombe Cookery School is located in an atmospheric, 300 year old stone barn, across the yard from our bed and breakfast and tucked away in a secluded valley close to the town of Dulverton, on the edge of Exmoor.Courses range from Breadmaking to Italian Food and, of course, Fish.

My connection with seafood

I have been a keen fisherman all of my life. My father was positively obsessed with it and passed on that love of fishing to me at a very early age. I am primarily a fly fisherman but also delight in sea fishing of all kinds, and part of the joy is catching a beautiful fish and then doing it the justice of turning it into a memorable meal. Although I ca not catch all of the fish for my professional cooking myself, it is a cornerstone of my menus.

Why sustainability is important to me

I have a firm belief in the value of living in a sustainable, low waste manner. Regardless of what I am cooking, I always make full use of ingredients, using offcuts and bone for stocks, leftovers for further dishes, and scraps feed the chickens. The wisdom in taking care of fish stocks, using them efficiently, eating different species and reducing by-catch and discards is unquestionable. The abundance and variety of fish in our seas is key to the balance of the wild food-chain and it is our responsibility to only catch what we need and make full use of anything we take.

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