Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Saturday 4 June 2011

Daurade, grilled with herbs -- BBQ season!

The Prof. and I have been discussing buying a new barbecue that we can take to the beach. Around here, some people spend their lives on the beach. There are the dark tanners who lie around in the sun, often not even seeming to read books, but frozen in some religious sun-worshipping moment, the kids who come to play in the sand (in Antibes, not in Nice where the beaches are rocky), the men who sit on lawn chairs with long fishing poles stuck in the ground in front of them and lines dangling in the sea, and people like us. Or, people like the ones we are going to become once we buy our portable barbecue.

For now, we're still able to have delicious grilled foods, only at home where we have access to electricity.

The Prof. has a type of barbecue that I'd never seen before coming to France. It has a thin grill that goes over top of a resistance, which goes over a small basin of water. And in the end, the fish (or whatever is being cooking) ends up being somewhat steam-grilled. (Obviously, we could also do with a new barbecue at home since ours is now a tiny bit blackened and melted -- oops!)

Tonight, we're going to have daurade (sometimes written "dorade"), which seems to translate on most bilingual menus to "sea bream." We bought it at the fish stands in the market today, where we also bought the most delicious melons and mangoes we've ever tasted. Today was a good market day at le marché de la Libération (the one with fewer tourists).

Here's our simple grilled daurade recipe:

Grilled Daurade with Herbs

1 daurade -- emptied and washed, but not scaled
1 lemon -- cut into little wheels (we've also tried oranges and they were great)
1 bunch of rosemary
1 bunch of thyme

Put the lemon slices, the rosemary and the thyme inside the fish. Rub some olive oil on the outside of the fish and on the grill, and then put the fish on the grill to cook. Cooking the fish takes about 25 minutes. Flip it halfway through. Also, make sure that you check that the fish is done before you take it off. Different sizes of fish take different amounts of time to cook. If it's white and flaky, but still a little moist, it's good.

With our fish tonight, we're having some zucchini and onions from the market, fried with some of the greatest market tomatoes in the south of France(we already had a few at lunch). We really lucked into some good stands today!

I'll post a picture when the Prof. is done cooking our meal. (I should get off the computer and at least appear to be lending some support.)

Sometimes the de-boning process moves quite quickly, thus the blur.

Photograph taken just ten minutes before the rain came pouring down on our dinner :(


  1. Sounds pretty easy...and looks very yummy. I'm sure the summer markets are everywhere now. Just curious, is camping popular over there?


  2. Camping seems big for families, but it's often not quite the same as the tent kind we have in Canada. Tents are sold all over the place, but a lot of the "camping" sites seem to offer mini cabins. Haven't been yet, but I'm sure it would be fun with a group of friends!

  3. I find Canadian BBQ super high-tech compared to French BBQ! I love any grilled but we don't have a big backyard and never got in barbecuing. Which is too bad, come to think of it!

    I can live without meat but I love fish, especially grilled fish.

  4. Zhu: The Canadian barbecues are high tech, but I think they're sort of a right of passage. They're not a requirement if you don't have a big backyard, but you're then supposed to dream about the days when you'll have a big backyard and a barbecue. Aren't you?

    I never had one when I lived in downtown Ottawa, but I'm definitely happy to have one now. Fresh fish from the Mediterranean also helps.

    Do you fish in Ottawa?

  5. wow this kinda BBQ is my heritage specialty :> let me give u a trick to turn ur BBQ fish into an amazing tasty memory: open the fish from the line u cut its interior completely, and face it on the fire...I mean you should face the inside of the fish towards the fire, especially if ur BBQ is wood burning, u will never forget the taste! my apology if didn't explain right! let me know, I will post a pic to explain what I meant
    Ok see this image:

  6. Anita: That looks delicious, but maybe it's too advanced for me? I did just buy a fish today, though ... I wonder if it would fall apart without the grill sandwicher thing?