3 pounds course Kosher Salt
2 large egg white
1/4 cup water
1 whole fish (2 to 3 pounds), branzino or a snapper, bream, sea bass or porgy
Freshly ground pepper
1 lime, orange, lime, and or lemon, ginger, fennel (really stuff the fish with whatever flavors you like)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the salt, egg whites, and the water in a bowl. Season inside of fish with pepper and stuff away. Season outside of the fish with pepper. Scatter one-quarter of the salt mixture on bottom of an oval pan or baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, which makes the clean up a snap. Pat remaining salt on the fish tightly on the top to cover the entire surface, including the head, leaving the tale exposed.
Cook for 40 minutes, let rest for 10 before removing the salt coating which you might have to break off with a knife.
Baking in salt is a sneaky way of splitting the difference between steaming and roasting. The layer of course salt and egg whites is there to form a hard crust, which, when cracked open, reveals a moist succulent fish, infused with the flavors you selected.
Prep time is quick!! Very dramatic and a 3 lb. fish will serve 2 to 3.
Serve with Lanson Champagne, my personal French favorite.