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Friday, March 26, 2010

Sea Bass in a Skillet

Sea Bass With Quinoa and Beurre Blanc

Sea Bass, and fish in general, is fast and easy to prepare, delicious, and good for you.  Here's what you need:
Two nice thick boneless, skinless sea bass fillets.

Put them on a paper towel lined plate and  sprinkle both sides with a pinch of salt.
Let them sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. This will help them release some of the moisture so you can get a good sear on them. Now blot them dry, on both sides, with a dry paper towel. Crank on some fresh ground pepper. While the fish is hanging out, make your side dish. Cous cous, orzo, and quinoa are tasty and quick to prepare.
Now, get yourself a cast iron skillet. You want a skillet that gets smokin' hot. Put a couple tablespoons extra light olive oil in the skillet. You need an oil with a high smoking point so it doesn't burn. Heat the skillet on high until it starts to smoke. You'll want to turn on the fans and open the windows so you don't set off the smoke alarms. Happens at my house all the time. My family considers the smoke alarm the dinner bell.
Using tongs, place the fillets in the hot skillet.
Don't move them, don't touch them for at least 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, gently lift a corner of one fillet with your tongs. If the fish doesn't have a beautiful brown color, put it back down for another minute. It should have color of the fish in the following picture.
Now, once the fish has that beautiful brown crust, gently turn the fillets over with your tongs. Let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. You want your fish to moist and flaky. Don't overcook it.
Put the fish on a plate and cover loosely with foil. Let's take this over the top with a simple lemon butter sauce, beurre blanc. It takes only 5 minutes to make.
You'll need:
1 shallot, minced
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2 lemon
Use a white wine you want to drink. Sauvingnon blanc, chardonnay, or pinot grigio are all good choices.
Slice the butter into about 10 pieces. No need to be exact. Set aside.
Into a sauce pot, over medium heat, add the wine, vinegar, and minced shallot. 
Zest the lemon into the liquid. For novice cooks, that means grating the lemon peel with a micro plane.Stop grating when you get to the pith, (the white part), as it's bitter.
Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice of 1/2 of the lemon into the liquid. I love this juicer. All juice, no seeds, no mess on my hands.
Cook about 3 minutes until liquid is reduced by half.
Begin whisking in one pat of butter at a time.
Once the butter pat has melted into the sauce add another pat, whisk in, and repeat until all the butter has been incorporated into the sauce.
When all the butter is incorporated, your sauce is done!
Snuggle the fish fillets on top of your carb of choice. I used quinoa. It's whole grain, really good for you. Only make as much as you'll eat at one meal. Left over quinoa is awful. Pour the sauce right over the fish, and serve extra sauce on the side.
Dinner is served. 

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About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.