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Posts Tagged ‘Sea bass’

We cooked this fish from Falastin on a Saturday night for our 7 year old, who gets to sit up and have dinner with us at the weekends. Jono’s not too keen on fish skin so I warned him to make sure that Orlaith didn’t see him taking it off, or she wouldn’t eat it either. Orlaith announced very quickly that the skin was the best bit – that’s my girl! Crispy skin is the key and this cooking method delivers it to perfection. Even Jono ate the skin!

Wine Suggestion: A very left-field suggestion tonight, but with some logic: the Herdade de Portacarra Manda Chuva. This is a Blanc de Noirs – a white made from a red grape. In this case Sangiovese which is the logic; this grape works superbly with tomatoes. Interestingly this is from Setubal, in Portugal, and by making a white it makes a great match for both fish and tomatoes.

Seared sea bass with lemon & tomato sauce – serves 4

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 4 tsp fish spice mix (to make: 2 tsp ground cardamom, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp turmeric)
  • 8 sea bass fillets, skin on, lightly scored and halved widthways at a slight angle
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 25g piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 x 400g tin of peeled plum tomatoes, blitzed in a food processor until smooth
  • 1 ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 20g dill, roughly chopped
  • 25g coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 150g datterini or cherry tomatoes
  • ½ a lemon, very thinly sliced into rounds

Combine 2 tbsp of oil, 2½ tsp of fish spice mix, 1 tsp of salt and a plenty of black pepper together in a shallow dish. Add the fish pieces, turn to coat and set aside while you make the sauce.

Put 2 tbsp of oil in a large sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring now and then, until softened and browned. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another couple of minutes, until fragrant. Add 1½ tsp fish spice mix and the tomato purée and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, two-thirds of the dill and coriander, the stock, 1 tsp of salt and plenty of pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is thick and rich. Keep warm on a low heat.

Toss the little tomatoes with 2 tsps of oil. Put a large frying pan on a hight heat, add the tomatoes, and cook for about 4 minutes, shaking the pan a few times, until charred all over. Add the lemon slices and cook for another 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan a few times. Add this to the tomato sauce along with the remaining herbs and keep warm until ready to serve.

Wipe the frying pan clean and put over a medium-high heat with 1½ tsp of oil. Add a quarter of the sea bass fillets, skin side down, press them gently if necessary to stop them curling. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and browned, then flip the fish over in the pan. Cook for another 30 seconds, then transfer to a warm plate. Repeat until all the fish is cooked.

Divide the sauce between 4 plates and top with the sea bass. Sprinkle over some coriander leaves to serve.

(Original recipe from Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, Ebury Press, 2020.)

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Fennel, Pernod and Red Mullet Parcels

We cooked this the night that further restrictions were placed on Ireland. We were a bit unsure how it would all work and if we would still be able to get fresh produce in the local shops or if we’d be stuck with supermarkets. Yesterday we heard that we’d be home for another few weeks but thankfully we can still get fresh fish and almost anything else we need (except plain flour!) from our local shops. We served this with some steamed waxy potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Light, white and minerally. Our choice is the Allo by Quinta Soalheiro from northern Portugal made from Alvarinho for texture and body, and Loureiro for the fruity, aromtic white flowers. All at 11.5% abv.

Fennel, Pernod and red mullet parcels – serves 4

  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp chopped herb fennel leaves
  • 180ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp Pernod
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 fillets of red mullet or sea bass

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

You need large 4 pieces of double thickness  tin foil – probably bigger than you think. Divide the sliced fennel between the sheets – keep the edges turned up so you don’t lose anything. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the parcels and lay the fish fillets on the top with the fennel leaves sprinkled over. Season everything well with salt and pepper.

Fold the foil up around the ingredients to make parcels, twisting the edges together to seal, make sure you leave some air inside.

Place the parcels on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish and ingredients from the parcels and arrange on warm plates. Pour the juices from the parcels over the top.

(Original recipe from Herbs by Judith Hann, Nourish, 2017.)

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Thai-style crispy Sea bass

This was a  delicious Friday night feast and oh so simple! Serve with some roast new potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Although not a regular choice we had a Pinot Grigio by Bonotto delle Tezze in our fridge and it was a pleasant surprise in how well it went with this dish. However, we shouldn’t have been surprised as it has all the elements you’d need to look out for: round and generous fruit to work with the spice, and a freshness and texture despite having moderate acidity.

Thai-style crispy sea bass – serves 2

  • 4 scallions
  • ½ a bunch of coriander – about 15g
  • 2 x 300g whole sea bass, scaled, gutted & trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 lime

Trim and halve the scallions, then finely shred lengthways and put into a bowl of ice-cold water to crisp up. Pick in the coriander leaves and reserve the stalks.

Score the sea bass at 2cm intervals, then rub all over with the curry paste including inside the cavity. Put the coriander stalks into the cavities and season with salt and pepper.

Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-heat. When the pan is hot add a tbsp of oil and cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until dark golden and cooked through.

Drain and shake the water off the scallions & coriander then pile onto two plates. Place the sea bass on top and spoon over any spicy oil from the pan. Finely grate over the lime zest and squeeze over some juice to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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This is such a clever idea, especially if you don’t have one of those fancy things for cooking fish on the barbecue. The fish doesn’t stick to the grill but you still get all the smoky barbecue flavours plus a  delicious spike of citrus. The idea has us thinking of other combinations and we loved the caramelisation that happened to the oranges which gives the dish an extra dimension.

Wine Suggestion: This cries out for a Spanish white, like Albarino or Godello, where the best examples balance a depth of texture with a lightness of being. We drank a Dominio de Tares Godello from Bierzo which was amazing on its own and then with the fish. Perfectly matched.

Barbecue Sea Bass & Citrus Salad – serves 4

  • 2-3 large oranges
  • zest of 1 lemon (keep the juice for the salad)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 x 300g whole sea bass, scaled, gutted and slashed down each side (or 8 fillets)

FOR THE SALAD: 

  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bags watercress
  • handful small capers
  • handful pitted green olives, roughly chopped

Finely grate the zest of the 1 of the oranges and add to the lemon zest. Mix with the olive oil, then drizzle over the fish and season.

Cut the rest of the oranges into slices, about ½ cm thick. Arrange the orange slices over the barbecue grill, close together so you can lay the fish on top. Barbecue the fish for 5-8 minutes on each side, or until the flesh flakes easily.

To make the salad: Put the orange segments into a large bowl, with the squeezed juice from the rest of the oranges and the lemon juice. Season and stir in the olive oil. Toss the watercress in the orange dressing with the capers and the olives.

Serve the fish with the salad.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Yet another Lebanese dish, we’ll have to move onto another theme soon! This is delicious and quite rich so probably best served as a mezze dish or shared starter, though it will feed 2 people as a main dish.

Sea Bass with Tahini and Curry Sauce – to serve 2 as a main or 4 as a starter

  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • squeeze of lemon juice, to serve

FOR THE SAUCE 

  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 120ml water

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC/Gas 4.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the sauce into an ovenproof dish and put in the oven to warm.

Cut each fillet in half, score the skin with 2 slashes, and season well.

Heat a frying pan, add the butter, and when melted, add the fish, skin side down. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden. Turn the fillets over and cook for another minute or two until the flesh flakes easily.

Take the dish out of the oven, add the fish to the sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Put the dish back into the oven for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon before serving.

Wine Suggestion: A full-bodied textural white, like an oaked Vermentino.

(Original recipe from The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage, Phaidon, 2012.)

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