Black Sea Bass is one of the flavorful fish. It's best to buy it fresh and fillet it yourself or have your fish monger do it. Keep the bones to make a nice fish stock. While we use chicken stock for this recipe you can also roast the bones from the whole fish and prepare your own fish stock. Chicken stock however does add an interesting dimension to the dish.
We score the fish to: 1) help prevent the fish from curling when it hits the pan, 2) to allow for a nice sear, and allow the flesh side to cook quicker, 3) allow for better seasoning of the skin side of fish,. 4) to provides for a nice visual contrast for the diner and 5) to make it easier to eat the fish.
Service for 2
1 black sea bass (for 2 fillets)
1/2 cup fresh peas
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 jalapeno seeded and cleaned of vein
2 T wild spinach
1/4 cup chicken stock
10 sugar snap peas
2 japanese turnips
2 T. black truffle butter
Clean the asparagus bottoms. Cut two inches off the asparagus to use for the sauce. Add the asparagus, frozen and fresh peas to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chervil and wild spinach. Cook all for 1 more minute then refresh in cold water. Roast over an open flame the jalapeno till just slightly charred. Add the peas, asparagus bottoms, chervil, wild spinach and jalapeno pepper with the 1/4 cup of chicken stock to a blender and blend on high. Then pass through a sieve. This can be done early and kept in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
Par boil the sugar snaps, asparagus tops and turnips. Refresh.
Score the black sea bass and salt both sides.
Reheat the pea-jalepeno sauce with 2 T black truffle butter in a double boiler. Cut the turnip to desired size and heat all the plating vegetables in a T of olive oil.
Pat dry the skin side with a paper towel. The first salt addition with remove some of the moisture. With a paper towel dry the the skin side. Sear the fish skin side down on a high in a heated pan with a small amount of oil I also use duck fat which gives a nice sear and adds flavor to bass. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the sides start to turn white. Turn the fish over and continue to cook for 30 seconds then turn the flame off. If the fillet is thick instead of finishing in the pan put the fish into a preheated oven 450F for 3 minutes.