Here at Chalet Bartavelle we are gearing up for the next winter season and starting to think about menus. We are not quite there yet mainly doing a lot of tasting (just to make sure we get it quite right you understand!) but here is a nice little Sea Bass recipe to keep you going. This recipe has four components to it and does look quite long when written out but please bear with it, it really isn't as complicated as it looks and the results are worth it. Enjoy!
- 1 Fennell bulb (fine diced)
- 1/2 Red onion (fine diced)
- 1/2 Aubergine (fine diced)
- 1 Red pepper (fine diced)
- 1 Garlic clove (crushed)
- 6 Green olive (quartered)
- 8 Sun blushed tomatoes (quartered)
- 1 tbsp Tomato puree
- 30g Toasted pine nuts
- 30 Capers (fine chopped)
- Basil leaves
- 50ml Olive oil
- 50ml Rape seed oil
- 20ml Balsamic vinegar
Separately fry off the aubergines in the rape seed oil until golden, do not be too tempted to add more oil as the aubergine acts like a sponge and once full will release the oils, then the aubergine will be saturated in oil.
Add the aubergines to the fennel mix then add the tomato puree and cook out.
Next add the balsamic, you may also need to add a similar amount of water to loosen the mix.
Finally add the capers, olives sun blushed tomatoes, and basil leaves, tear the leaves in. season and set aside. When you reheat this mix later you may again need to add a touch of water to loosen.
- 100ml Olive oil or rape seed
- 20 Basil leaves
Season and place in a blender and whizz, pass and set aside to cool
POMME ANNA POTATOES (This is basically a potato cake)
- 5 Large peeled potatoes (finely sliced)
- 4 Sprigs of thyme, de stalk and chop
- duck fat
- salt and pepper
Heat the tins till very hot, either on the stove or in the oven.
Mix the thyme and salt and pepper into the potatoes.
Place a heaped tea spoon of fat in the tins and then place one layer of potatoes overlapping in the bottom, once lightly coloured continue with the rest of the potatoes, squash down,then place another tea spoon of fat on top and pop into the oven till cooked. Turn them out and set aside till needed.
- Rape seed oil
- Salt and pepper
Place the oil in a tray with the seasoning
Cut the aubergine into 2.5 cm rings, then score the aubergine
Put the aubergines in the oil and move around, turn over so it lightly covered in oil
Place on the grill and get leave to char then turn 90 degrees so you get a criss cross effect, do the same the other side and then place back on the oiled tray and pop in the oven till soft, set aside
PAN FRYING THE SEA BASS AND PLATING UP
- 6 120g fillets of sea bass, skin on and descaled (hopefully something your fishmonger can do)
Season the fish skin side, and place in the pan, do not move it around just leave it, season the top
Place the potatoes, and aubergine in the oven. Gently heat up the caponnata mix
Once you can see the underneath is colouring and has lifted off the bottom, place in the oven
All you are looking for now is to see the change in colour on the top of the fish from raw to a nice pale white colour. The time this takes will depend on the thickness of the fish, should be no more than 2/3 mins, remember most of the cooking was done on the stove. If its a really thick piece of fish, a good way to test if its cooked is to slide a cocktail stick into the meatiest part, if it goes in with ease and there is no resistance then its cooked, its best if there is just a wee bit of resistance as it will carry on cooking once out of the pan.
Ok to serve- place the aubergine in the middle of the plate, then add a spoonful of capponata on top, next rest the potato on top or on a angle then skin side up place the fish onto the potato. Then around the fish spoon a nice amount of the capponata, finish with a touch of basil oil.