Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tutti Frutti Almond Cake

Note:  I'm in the running for Babble's Top 50 Food Blogs.  Could you take a minute and add your vote?   Click here or on the side link to the right 
 Thank you!

We're almost ready.  The car is getting loaded, swim towels washed, sun screen tucked into beach bags.  

We'll be leaving in the twilight hours so we can start our yearly trek to the Table Rock Lakes of southern Missouri.  Once on the road, we sip on hot coffee in the wee hours of the morning, waiting for  the first subtle rosiness of the sky to fill the landscape with pink haziness.

I had made this almond cake with fresh fruit during the week because I have been enjoying desserts with almond flour lately.  "Mom, you should make this cake for up at the lake for the 4th" the kids suggested after tucking into their first bites.  "You think I should?" I queried "Yes, this would be a nice dessert for the holiday."

Nectarines, peaches, and cherries are bursting in the markets at present.  A simple, moist almond cake with a topping of these ripe jewels of the summer,  showcase the season's bounty.  We'll be crossing the bulk of Texas, rolling up and down over the hills of Arkansas and crunching down windy roads to the lake house in the Ozark Mountain area of southern Missouri.

Deep in the heart of the Ozarks, sparkle the beautiful Table Rock Lakes.  Each year, on 4th of July, families and friends wait patiently for the sun to begin its gentle descent into the shimmering waters.  As the ashy haze of dusk envelops the myriad of lakes and coves, thousands of small boats churn through the waters and quietly arrive at the Kimberling City Bridge.  

 Boats of all sizes bob up and down in the water, each turning off their engines and letting the quiet of the night roll across the unfolding scene.

As the haze of dusk turns into the inky blackness of night, colors burst up and punch into the night sky.  The small lights on each boat reflect and playfully dance inbetween the shimmering streams of fireworks that cascade downwards.

Ever since my children were babies, wrapped up tight from the cool lake breezes, this scene plays out each year.   Good food, the smell of sunscreen, catching up with other lake families that we haven't seen since the previous visit, all culminate in our Fourth of July celebrations.

Tutti Fruitti Almond Cake will be enjoyed this year up at the lake house.  

However, there is another perennial favorite that my husband's family cannot go without.  Rootbeer Floats are the sweet drink of choice in his family.  Along with this moist and delicious almond cake, I am sure to see this classic American treat making its yearly appearance as well!

Tutti Frutti Almond Cake (adapted from At Down Under blog)

200g (1 1/3cup) Almond Flour
40g (1/2 cup)  flour
4 egg whites
90g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
50g (1/2 cup) butter melted + some for greasing the cake tin
A pinch of salt
Fresh fruits:  Sprinkle lemon juice over nectarines if used so they do not turn brown.

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 (3 oz.) pkg. low fat cream cheese
4 tbsp. softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). In a bowl mix together ground almond, flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and stir well. Add egg white and mix well until combined. Grease a cake tin with butter before pouring the batter in. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven. Turn the cake out of the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving place fruit slices on top.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summertime Cocktails: Watermelon Rosemary Drink and Sangrias

Note:  I'm in the running for Babble's Top 50 Food Blogs.    If you would like to add your vote, like what you see here, click here or on the side link to the right and vote for me.?
 Thank you!

There seemed to be only two of us out early in the morning over the weekend.  Me...and this little guy.  It is hot down here in Texas.  But...if I take off for my long morning walks between 6:30 and 7:30am it is beautiful, quiet, and calm.  Typically, a soft breeze is blowing and the air still feels cool and fresh.

This little guy kept fluttering by me as I was trying to photograph a pretty flower.  "Aren't I just as pretty as that flower?"  he asked pointedly.  "See what pretty big eyes I have!"  he interjected with a brisk whisk of his blue-tipped tail.

"Oh, yes," I purred.   "You are a cute little bugger.  Here we go. Show me your gorgeous eyes.  This is your photo debut on my 'Snippets of Thyme'."  He paused ever so still, photo was snapped, and he was gone.

I don't think we have ever tried our hand at so many mixed drinks since moving to Texas.  The hot weather is perfect for icy, fruity, cool drinks of all sorts.  This one {above} is a refreshing drink with watermelon!  And rosemary! I've never tried a drink before with watermelon but it was a delicious surprise.  

I must confess, I was the only one in my house who enjoyed this drink.  The combination of the rosemary, watermelon, and rum is unique.  For me, however, it was a definite "do again".  Love, love, love this drink.

Watermelon Cocktail with Scented Rosemary
In a blender add watermelon pieces, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of rum.  Blend all together, chill (with rosemary sprig), and pour in serving glasses...or jars.

Dewey morning walk delights
Another new drink I had never tried before is the classic Sangria.  I know, where have I been, right?  I have never had a Sangria!!  Well, now I am in the "Sangria - know". 

I've always wanted to order this in a restaurant.  In fact, scenarios in my mind play out something like this...  "Sangria, please dawlin" she ordered casually, full of knowing sophistication with an elegant wave of her beautifully manicured hand.

Or, I might imagine myself crooning, "Oh honey,  just fix me my yoooo-sual... Sangria...on the rawks." 

I told you.  I have an. active. imagination.  

I don't even get my nails manicured, nor do I have any drawl whatsoever.    In fact, it only takes a few sipfuls of this heady concoction and my elegant manicured hand would be a nice pillow for my snoozing head at this imaginary dining table.  This is one wicked strong drink.


1.5 liters red wine 
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or another mild white)
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
slices of limes, lemons, oranges (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice.

I remember, deep in southern Louisiana, my grandparents often enjoyed a martini in the evenings.  They skewered these huge green olives on little silver pics that rested elegantly against the tall-stemmed martini glasses.  I was always intrigued by this drink.  I loved the scent of the martini.  My grandmother would dip her olive in her martini and give each of us one.  Henceforth, I grew up pretty much believing I was a martini drinking girl.

When I met my husband, and we began dating and going out to restaurants, I told him that I typically drink martinis when I go out. 

"Really?" he asked with one eyebrow raised and for some reason surprised.  "Oh yes," I knowingly replied and then promptly ordered, " a  dry martini with green olives please.

Well.  A large green olive dipped in a martini versus a real bonafide strong sip of a martini are like comparing a merry-go-round horse ride to the real galloping beast of an animal.   

The look on my face after taking my first adult sip of that martini was priceless to my husband.  This knowing sip, however, was horrendous to me .  The first words out of my mouth were "battery acid" {like I had ever drank battery acid}.

To this day, whenever we are out at a nice restaurant, my husband leans over coyly and inquires, "Honey, don't you want your usual...dry martini with green olives?   Oh the smirking that ensues!

We've been in quite a drought down here.  The daily "talk" is usually about the weather and when it might possibly rain.  

Every time we have company over, a nice cold mixed drink sounds like the perfect welcoming gesture.  Its been fun to try out different varieties.

But, please, just give us some cool refreshing rain!  An outpouring of ploppy drops of rain!  The ground is parched and cracked with dryness.  All of my potted herbs on the patio need constant attention and I cannot leave them for a day.  

In the meantime, we'll have to content ourselves with experimenting with more mixed drink varieties.  Now that we are full fledged adults, perhaps a martini or two should be re-discovered?  

No.  Don't think so.  Just give me the jar of green olives, please.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butternut Squash and Orange Cauliflower Soup

Note:  I've been nominated for Babble's 50 Top Food Blogs!  Thank you to every single one of you that voted for me. I am overwhelmed!   If you would like to add your vote, click on the side link to the right.  Thank you!

Really, it seems that whenever I go to farmer's markets, my mind quickly wanders into the land of soups.  I see all of the fresh produce and I can't help but envision a big pot of scented soup with some sort of rustic crusty bread to go along with it.

The other weekend, my cousin and I  checked out a new farmer's market here in Houston.  This one is called "Midtown Farmer's Market".  It was a sweet discovery but it so happened there was more to discover there than the little market.

This market almost acts like a welcoming party to a famous restaurant in Houston...T'afia.  I had heard of this restaurant and was delighted to see that we had landed right in front of it.  In fact, on Saturdays, the owner, Monica Pope sets up an outdoor kitchen in the front of the restaurant.  There she was, right there, instructing everyone on the dish she was cooking.  She prepares all sorts of delicious dishes and gives a cooking lesson to anyone eager to learn.

Her restaurant specializes in cooking with local ingredients that she incorporates  into her dishes. I wondered about the cute name, T'afia.  I went to her blog and learned more about this unique name.  

T'afia comes from the creole word "ratafia", which is a fortified wine made with seasonal produce.  The word t'afia is also used to mean a toast "to your health".  What a wonderful and fitting name!

The mood of this market was so different from other markets in Houston.  There were stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, candles, and funky clothing.

This market almost seemed like  a "pocket market", especially there to provide for the people in that area.  However, a curious line wound its way under overhanging pavilions and a very diverse crowd of people stood waiting.  For what?  As you might have guessed, they were all waiting to eat in the restaurant T'afia.

I knew we didn't have time to try out this restaurant today but I did want to check it out further...on the inside perhaps.  Look at the line of people waiting to eat there!  This is Houston, Texas.  It is hot outside!

I didn't want to be rude but you see I have this over-riding curious nature about me that gets away from me and leads me to often  get overly excited about new discoveries.  I just "had" to see inside.

Yes, I did manage to slip inside (apologizing to the people first in line and promising that I was not "butting").  How juvenile, I actually used the word "butting".  No wonder the group at the door looked at me funny.  A grown woman promising not to..."butt".

The inside of the restaurant is fabulous.  The colors and artwork were vibrant and powerful, the energy was buzzing. Food was flying back and forth from the kitchens.  T'afia is definitely a place I would love to come back and try out.  Something to definitely plan for another weekend  with Patrick perhaps.

First things first, however.  The sun was burning hotter and it was time to head home.  I was still dreaming of soups.  I had recently come across a recipe for a Butternut Squash and Orange Cauliflower Soup.  After making some fun fashion purchases at the market outside T'afia it was time to go home and make this soup.

I really never thought I would find the orange cauliflower called for in the recipe.  I had never heard of it or noticed it in the markets.  Lo and behold, the minute I walked into my produce section of my local grocery store, there sat ... orange cauliflower.  Go figure.  I was curious about why and how it has become orange so if you are interested here is a link to an article I found in Saveur magazine.

This soup might just define "soup perfection" for me.  I really did enjoy the wonderful robust flavors of this one.  I like butternut squash very much and blending it into soups is just how I like to eat it.

The recipe called for toasted pumpkin seeds on top of the soup.  While that does sound delicious, I didn't have any.  I crushed up some smoked almonds and that tasted really good.  The saltiness of the spices used on the smoked almonds added to the flavors of the cauliflower and squash.  The color of this soup is a beautiful deep sultry orange.

I decided that I need to feature more soups on "Snippets".  We do eat a fair number of soups during the week.  Typically, they are just thrown together from leftovers but often, that is the best kind. 

On the weekend, we'll fix something a bit more elaborate, a barbecue or pasta dish, but during the week, it can often be soups and bread combinations.  I never tire of trying out soup varieties.

Butternut Squash and Orange Cauliflower Soup
(recipe adapted from Cannelle and Vanille blog)

2 Tbs olive oil

1 medium leek, washed, quartered and diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 carrots, medium dice

1 orange cauliflower, chopped

1 small butternut squash, peel and medium diced

1 qt chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups water

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

toasted pumpkin seeds

purple basil oil, optional

In a large stock pot, sauté the leek, garlic and carrots with the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and butternut squash and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, water and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes until tender.

Puree the soup with a blender. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with a drizzle of purple basil oil, toasted pumpkin seeds (I used crushed smoked almonds) and micro greens.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mammie Moo's Strawberry Shortcake

Note:  I've been nominated for Babble's 50 Top Food Blogs!  Thank you to every single one of you that voted for me. I am overwhelmed!   If you would like to add your vote, click on the side link to the right.  Thank you!

Father's Day has just passed.  I asked Patrick what he wanted for dessert on his special day.  I knew immediately what his first answer would be.  Boston Cream Pie.  He loves this dessert. 

I know, however, that he has been mentioning  a dessert ever since I've known him that brings back special memories.  He tells me about his grandmother, Mammie Moo's Strawberry Shortcake.  His eyes get all dreamy when he attempts to describe this cake.

I met Patrick the weekend after Mammie Moo died.  I remember he was sad over her death.  He said every year she would make her special strawberry shortcake.  As children, after they arrived at her house on the lake, the children would run to the refrigerator to see if the strawberry shortcake was made.  He had such fond memories of her house and in particular that strawberry juice soaked dessert.  

How do you match that memory?  I had never met Mammie Moo, although I regret that I didn't.  I had never seen this infamous dessert so of course, never tasted it.

As I was making my list and planning out my Father's Day barbecue, I  thought I would make an attempt to duplicate this strawberry shortcake... 

But I planned to keep it as a surprise!

I was perusing the internet, looking at different variations of strawberry shortcakes and trying to nonchalantly have him point out the one cake that looked like Mammie Moo's.  I came to one such cake on the Williams Sonoma website.  "That's it" he said, looking over my shoulder.  "It looked similar to that one."  

I reassured him that someday I would try to attempt it but for this Father's Day, it would be Banana Bread Pudding, a dessert he had recently enjoyed at a restaurant in Louisiana.  

Yep.  Banana Bread Pudding.  But, on my list were all the ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake!

The cream for this cake is delicious.    It is made with heavy cream and crème fraiche.  Yep, if you are raising your eyebrow questioningly right now, this is no low calorie dessert.  After several finger licking samples, I was pretty excited about the quality of the rest of this dessert recipe.  This cream filling recipe sure did taste good.

There was one mistake that I made with this cake.  He specifically remembered as a child that the strawberry filling soaked into the cake making it all that more wonderful.  I spooned on the cream filling first and then the strawberry filling on top of that.  Next time, oh and there will be a next time, I will try to add the strawberry filling first so that it is directly on top of the cake.  

It was a special weekend for another reason in addition to the Father's Day holiday.  We had some very special friends in town and they were joining us for our Father's day barbecue dinner.  One rolled stone back, when we were living in Kansas City, we spent day after day with these friends at more ballet rehearsals and performances than we can now count.  Wonderful times with wonderful friends and we were eager to spend a day with them again.

My family asked in earnest for me to make a new recipe that I recently tried out for focaccia bread.  That recipe and photos are coming soon.  It is a delicious recipe so that was added to our dinner menu as well.

It was so much fun bringing out the Strawberry Shortcake as a surprise.  I said I was leaving the table to  get the Banana Bread Pudding but instead came out with my Mammie Moo attempt at her cake.  I knew that the strawberries didn't soak into the cake like I had hoped so I did have some sugar-soaked strawberry slices to add to the top of each slice.

My husband and Madeleine -1994
What a wonderful day in Houston.  Great friends, great food and a happy memory to hold onto this special Father's Day.  It is hitting us hard this year that we have one year left as a complete four-some before our daughter heads off to college.  Times like this around the table become more precious as we approach each holiday.

Happy Father's Day to all of the great Dads out there.  

Ingredients: (this recipe is adapted from Williams Sonoma)
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
5 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 Tbs. boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of 2 lemons
For the strawberry cream filling:
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly
  sliced, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 to 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 cups crème fraîche
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick; the mixture will still be grainy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the boiling water. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to high and whip again until thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until thick and smooth; the mixture should not look dry. Fold half of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

Gently spread the batter in the prepared pan. (Snippet's Notes:  I used a springform pan with the removal bottom and that worked well) Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the ring. Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers. (Snippet's Notes:  It was very difficult to get 3 even layers.  Next time, I will try using a piece of dental floss.  Wrap the floss around the cake, cross the floss, and gently pull it through the body of the cake.)

To make the filling, place the 2 cups strawberries in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and 2 Tbs. of the granulated sugar. Taste for sweetness; depending on the berries' ripeness, you may need to add an additional 1 to 2 Tbs. more sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the crème fraîche, cream, vanilla and the remaining 2 Tbs. granulated sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream holds its shape. (Snippet's Notes:  Be careful not to over whip or you will have an entire bowl of sweetened butter!)

Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Arrange one-third of the strawberries and their juices over the cake. Spread one-third of the cream over the berries. Repeat the layering process with the remaining 2 cake layers, berries and cream, ending with a layer of cream.

Before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar and garnish with additional berries. Cut with a serrated knife. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, "Layers of Delight," by Emily Luchetti (Spring 2002).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Red Snapper with Herbs and Roasted Summer Vegetables

Note:  I've been nominated for Babble's 50 Top Food Blogs!  Thank you to every single one of you that voted for me.  If you would like to add your vote, click on the side link to the right.  Thank you!

The kids and I were feeling restless the other day.  We decided that a venture out into the megalopolis of Houston was in order.  We had run out of our assortment of Asian goodies from Viet Huong, the huge Asian grocery store on the western side of Houston.  "Let's go there" I suggested.  The kids readily agreed.  I know they were thinking of mochi balls, seaweed snacks, and steamy pork buns.

But I had something else in mind.

I have been following Penny de los Santos' blog, Appetite, as she travels the interior of Mexico on assignment.  Penny is a photographer for National Geographic and other illustrious magazines.  I love to imagine what her assignments might be like, camera in hand and so many sights to capture.  

I grabbed my camera. I announced to the kids, "Let's go on assignment."

Admittedly, it doesn't have the same ring as "on assignment in the deep interior of Mexico" but I am known for my over-active imagination so, in my mind, parallels could be conjured.

The kids quickly dispersed once we arrived in the store.  Somehow, going "on assignment" with mom doesn't seem to have the same affect it does on them .... as it does on me.  I offered them the position of "fixer" but... still no takers.

Right away, I noticed the Jack Fruit {right} piled high in the produce section.  My husband  told me that when he was in Mexico, he was warned about the stench of Jack Fruit.  Apparently, it is supposed to taste delicious but have a beastly aroma.  My fingers itched to take one home and find out but I resisted.  I had something else in mind I wanted to take home. These dragon skin-like bulbous fruits are about the size of a small watermelon.

We also picked up some banana wrapped rice triangles called Puah Kiam Ti Chang.  Recently, I came across a u-tube video on this fantastic blog My Lemony Kitchen that demonstrates how to make these.  Usually, they are stuffed with rice and meat but these were more of a pounded rice filling.

Huge bins were filled with shallots on one side.  On the other side was heaped with taro root. I made a mental note to do some research on how taro root is used in Asian cuisine.  It must be popular because there was a ton of it.

The most interesting part of this huge Asian grocery store is in the very back.  That is the seafood market.  Each time we have visited this store, we have actually avoided this section because we are not used to the over powering aroma of fresh seafood.  However, I have been getting more and more curious about baking whole fish.  I see so many people who shop here purchasing entire fish.

These crabs were snapping and waving their claws all around.  Several people were eagerly plucking them up and putting them in a bag.  Oh how I would love to tag along to their home and see how they are going to prepare these crabs.  What will this meal look like on the dinner table tonight?

I really felt like I was channeling Penny de los Santos at this point.  The energy of the people eagerly choosing their daily fish or seafood was pretty exciting for me.  I was working hard with my camera to capture some of the wonderful sights in front of me.  

I  paid close attention to what people were choosing and how the staff was cleaning and de-boning the fish.  I have been pushing myself to expand my cooking skills and try my hand and baking a whole fish.  

Isn't she precious?  Isn't she just so soft and sweet looking?  She had the kindest face and her tiny little bun bundled at the nape of her neck was adorable.  I was rather lost in imagining a life for this tiny grandma. I was thinking that this is what Penny must experience while capturing so many wonderful faces on her travels.

As I was steeped in feeling very "photojournalis-tic" at this point, I felt a tiny tap-tap on my shoulder.  I turned around and there was this very kind looking man tapping me. 

"Excuse me, ma'am." he said softly.  We do not allow any photography in the store as it makes our customers uncomfortable."

"Oh, dear," I gulped.  "I am so very sorry.  I will put my camera away immediately." 

If you can imagine the sound of melodious music wafting softly through the air... and then the harsh, scratchy screech of that record being dragged or ripped to a stop, that would be exactly the sound I heard in my head as I pouted.  

Life as a photojournalist in the Asian market of Houston, Texas... was henceforth... over.

I moped back to find my teens among the many aisles of Asian goodies, told them of my polite reprimanding, and tried to quiet my pitter-pattering heart beats.  Of course, they hooted and sniggered at my chastising.  

On the way out, however, I did manage to grab several handfuls of these lychee fruits {above}.  Maybe my photojournalistic moments were over, but I didn't want to miss out on the lychee fruit!!

"I did it".  We carried our first ever WHOLE fish.  A red snapper to be exact.  Why a red snapper you might wonder?  Because, quite simply, it was the prettiest fish on the block. 

I told the kids to be culinari-ly brave and that we were going to try baking this fish...whole.    Back at the seafood market, camera tucked away, I was just a regular joe at this point.  I took my place in the queue to raise my hand and point out my red snapper.

I found the idea of cooking this fish on the blog of a very well-known site called "Cannelle et Vanille".  I was entranced with her photography but the idea of eating a fish whole made me wonder how the taste was different from buying the skinned, de-boned filets that we usually buy.

I knew I wanted to roast lots of vegetables to be served with the baked red snapper.  Tomatoes look brilliant in the markets right now. I also spotted this elephant garlic {above right} in the Asian market.  Mmmm roasted garlic to spread on toasted bread...

Nothing really tops the aromas of roasting garlic, fish, potatoes, tomatoes and onions.  

I have to commend the kids on their culinary bravery with this one.  It may sound ridiculous to other cultures, but Americans don't eat very many dishes where the animal from which it derived can be um...identified.  I know, it is silly.  I did, however, put the fish at the END of the table instead of in the center. 

We enjoyed the meal immensely!  This is something definitely we will do again and try out different herbs and flavors.  We had the roasted veggies and a fresh green salad with the baked fish.

Baked Red Snapper with Herbs:

Fish of your choice
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
Lemon Slices
Assortment of fresh herbs

Ask the store to de-bone and clean out the fish for you if you do not want to do this on your own.  Brush olive oil generously all over the inside and outside of the fish.  (Snippet's Notes: I made my own rosemary olive oil, go here for the how to) Very generously sprinkle sea salt and pepper all over the inside and outside of the fish.  Tuck fresh herbs of your choice inside the fish as well as tie some around the outside.  (Snippet's Notes:  soak the string that you tie around the fish so that it does not burn in the oven.)  Place the entire fish on a baking pan.  Put it in the oven at 350˚F for 25 -30 minutes or until done.