I haven’t eaten red mullet that often I don't think, but these were my favourite of all the guys I brought home. So fresh and red and pretty. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall refers to them as the woodcock of the sea owing to the French way of eating them whole with the guts still inside, the flesh has a light almost gamey flavour to it. They are good in terms of sustainability too, they grow quickly and mature young in UK waters and are not overfished here like they are in the Mediterranean.
The red mullet were simply pan fried in some melted butter with a bay leaf and some sliced garlic inside the fish, 7 minutes on each side. The flavour that comes out of them is amazing, the butter turns a deep orangey red and they have a spice and flavour to them as if you've added paprika, totally delicious. The little John Dory was baked in the oven for 20 minutes wrapped in foil with some butter garlic and parsley, simple but again delicious.
I'm so often cooking new recipes and experimenting with things that I forget sometimes how delicious a piece of fish can be with just a salad and some bread or new potatoes, this was such a feast, for barely any effort. My usual go to when I want something quick and simple is something on toast, eggs, lemony courgettes, broad beans and bacon or a simple cheese omelette; but really a piece of grilled fish and salad is as easy as it gets and so tasty. We are very lucky to have such a wealth of fresh fish right on our doorstep.