Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass over Wilted Arugula Salad with Spicy Coconut Sauce

20 03 2010

Clearly I am no good at sponsoring contests. We have a winner. Rebecca (from the brilliant blog Chow and Chatter; guessed Cod. The fish is Chilean Sea Bass, also known as Patagonian toothfish, icefish and Antarctica Cod! Now before you go report me to PETA, let me say I have researched the “endangered” status of this fish. Here is what I can determine. While somewhat a victim of its own tastiness, the fish is not “endangered”. It is, however, under pressure from overfishing and  illegal poaching. Here is a remedy that lets you enjoy this ocean treasure:

  • Purchase only Chilean Sea Bass that  is 100% certified non-poached. If your fishmonger can’t obtain your fish without proper papers, don’t purchase. Documentation  is currently available that tracks the fish through its entire shipment route; from the boat to your retailer during their entire shipment route.
  • This documentation verifies that the Chilean Sea Bass has been caught in legal waters. They are of legal weight and size and they were caught by legally designated fishermen that have paid for a permit to catch Chilean Sea Bass by their government.
  • Do NOT purchase Chilean Sea Bass that has not been certified. Responsible purchasing is the way to ensure that Chilean Sea Bass will be available to be enjoyed in perpetuity.

Now on to the tasty bits! This is a great “family” style meal or a great meal to present for a dinner party when you want a big platter in the center of the table to wow and impress. It is actually quite easy to make and has three components. Once your prep work is done (which you can do ahead of time) it is one hour from start time until you’re enjoying this beauty. I recommend a Gary Farrell Sauvignon Blanc, but you can also go for a nice Chilean Sauvignon Blanc to keep the theme consistent.

  • 1 Chilean Sea Bass fillet, about 1.5-2.0 pounds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 dozen Little Neck Clams
  • 4-5 baby yellow squash , thinly sliced (about 1 pound)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced (white parts only)
  • ½ bulb of fennel, finely sliced (reserve top for garnish)
  • 3.5 oz Shitake mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 hot peppers split lengthwise
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped ginger
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • ½ cup sake
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 can coconut milk, 13.5 oz
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the sea bass with salt, pepper and paprika and set aside. In an oven proof roasting dish place the squash, tomato, orange pepper and poblano pepper. Lightly coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss so the vegetables are evenly coated and distributed. Place in the oven to roast for 45 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, heat some olive oil in a large sautoir pan (like a sauté pan but with high straight sides). Add the onions, leeks and fennel and cook over medium heat until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, mushrooms, hot peppers, thyme, oregano and butter. When the liquid has just about evaporated, add the clams, lemon juice and sake. Reduce the liquid by half. Add the coconut milk and sesame oil and reduce the liquid by half again. While that is reducing, heat some olive oil in a pan until smoking. Add the sea bass skin side down. Cook for 5-7 minutes depending on thickness. This produces a crispy skin. Flip and cook 3-5 minutes on the other side. While the fish is finishing, remove the roasted vegetables and place in a strainer to remove excess liquid. Add the hot vegetables to the arugula; this will cause it to quickly wilt. Plate the wilted arugula and vegetables on the bottom of the serving tray. Add the fish. Spoon the sauce over and around; conversely you can place the sauce next and place the fish on top. Garnish with the fennel top and finely chopped parsley if desired.




6 responses

20 03 2010
Chef E

My kind of meal Doc! I made shepherds pie for our dinner last night, now leftovers, a wedding and dinner with friends tomorrow.

Hey I saw what you said, and let me tell you I am itching to go down south to this place where they sell a basket full of crabs for $5, because in season there are so many! Now those giant pots I have in my catering closet would finally come in handy!

Hubby turns 50 in July, SO that may be your excuse to come on up!

21 03 2010

Sounds like an event in the planning,
Thanks Chef!

21 03 2010

looks delicious I didn’t really get it right he he but thanks anyways

Oh going to Miami on Thurs looking forward to the food, and fish.

21 03 2010

let me know if you are ever up around tampa!

21 03 2010

I was Black Star!

21 03 2010

you are like a secret agent!

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