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Red Mullet with Orange and Fennel

ingredients

serves 2
2 large red mullet
2 bulbs fennel, sliced and poached in a little water or 2 bunches wild fennel
2 oranges salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (2 oz) 50 g butter
halved lime slices (optional), to garnish

method

1. Clean the whole mullet or ask your fishmonger to do this for you.

2. Arrange a layer of half the poached fennel slices in the bottom of an ovenproof dish and put the mullet on top of this.

3. Peel the oranges and cut into rounds, reserving any spare juice.

4. Surround and cover the fish with the slices of orange and add any reserved juice, season and cover the fish with the remaining fennel.

5. Dot with butter and bake in a moderately hot oven 200°c (400°f) gas 6 for about 25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.

6. If using wild fennel, bruise and slightly break a few twigs and put the mullet on top, and scatter with the chopped leaves.

7. Serve immediately, garnished with the oranges and juices from the dish and sprigs of the feathery fennel leaves.

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