Thursday, January 14, 2010

Seared Sea Bass with Fresh Herbs and Lemon (Page 284)

RECIPE #1080

  • Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Westerville, OH
  • Kitchen: Karen and Dave's House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Dave, Karen H, Brad, and Deniz
  • Recipe Rating: B+


I made this recipe as part of my effort to cook more seafood from The Book. I started by patting 6 ounce fillets of sea bass dry and cutting some slashes through the skin. I then cut each fillet diagonally in half and seasoned with salt and pepper. I cooked the fish in oil and butter until cooked through. Then I removed the fish from the skillet and deglazed with white wine. I then added lemon juice, parsley, chives, dill, butter, salt, and pepper. I served the fish topped with the sauce. This fish was quite tasty. The dish was so simple that it was all about starting with some good pieces of fish and making a nice sauce. I liked the sauce quite a lot. It was buttery, but the lemon cut some of that richness. And the wine and herbs gave it a great fresh flavor. My only complaint about this dish was that the cooking instructions were very odd. In particular, The Book said to slice the fillets in half diagonally to make them easier to turn. My 6-oz fillets were already rather narrow (as the fish itself was pretty thick), so cutting them in half diagonally made them very precariously balanced. Indeed, they toppled over in the pan as they cooked. Plus, they were quite hard to turn because of their instability. I foresaw that this would be a problem, so I didn't cut some of them (for instance, the one in the picture above was not cut). The ones I left un-halved were easy to cook properly, but the ones that were halved were a pain.

The recipe in The Book is very similar to this one, except the one in The Book has less wine per fillet than the one online.

I am feeling very disoriented this week. It's the first week of the semester... but I'm not teaching. And it's the middle of the winter... yet it is 56 degrees and sunny here in Berkeley. And I don't have an office here, so I am working from home. But it's not really my home -- it's the home of some lady I have never met. So I am sitting on a stranger's sofa in my pajamas in the middle of the day, rewriting part of a paper, and feeling a little bit out of sorts. Last semester I spent long, long hours in my office, and now, at the start of the semester, it feels odd not to be there. I am headed back to Indiana next week though, where I will resume my usual life again. For now I will enjoy my time in sunny California, where it feels more like May than January.

Back to work!

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