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Sea Bass

Sea Bass

 
This is a dish meant to be savored and shared. A perfect meal for a sensual romantic evening. It is decadently rich, succulent and delicious! It needs little accompaniment beyond Champagne, but perhaps a small amount of Jasmine rice as a bed and some lightly sautéed veggies or a simple side salad with good quality olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a bit of balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper…

Sea Bass
SeaBass
Photo Courtesy of: MyRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets of sea bass kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 23 fine gratings of nutmeg (you want only a mysterious hint in the final dish)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen cooked crawfish tails, thawed
  • 6 ounces lump crab meat (ask your fish monger for a tub that has not been thawed yet, as it is possible to separate enough meat for this dish while keeping the bulk of the container frozen for later use)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Season the sea bass with salt and pepper; arrange in a baking dish and set aside.
  3. Melt all but two tablespoonfuls of the butter with the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Cook the shallots, garlic, and parsley about 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate pan melt the remaining butter over low heat then slowly stir in the flour stirring continually until completely incorporated and smooth..(You have just made a roux!)
  5. Warm the half and half (traditionally a small onion with a few cloves stuck in it would be simmered with the cream) then pour slowly into the Roux while stirring till well integrated and smooth…(You have just made a Béchamel sauce!)
  6. Stir into the shallot mixture and cook until thickened. Season with the white pepper and hint of nutmeg.
  7. Gently fold the crawfish tails and crabmeat into the mixture, taking care to not break the crabmeat too much; cook another minute. (Now you have made a Nantua Sauce!) Spoon the mixture over the sea bass fillets.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, (about 15 to 18 minutes.)
  9. A note here…every oven is different and there is nothing more important than knowing your oven. It is pretty easy to gauge your ovens “personality” with a few cans of frozen biscuits or dinner rolls. Simply spread on a baking sheet and cook according to directions. Then check each biscuit or roll to see if they are over or under cooked and where “hotspots” might be, etc…)
  10. Serve immediately…lovingly..(.ahem,) sensually…And the perfect wine?

Marc Hebrart Rosé Champagne NV (750ml) – $49.99
If you are going to have a sensual dinner/evening experience, well then, there’s gotta be Champagne! And if you’re going to drink Champagne…well…then you may as well enjoy a topnotch GROWER Champagne and when you involve sensual ingredients like Crawfish and Lobster well, it just has to be a rosé Champagne “Pale pink with intensely perfumed aromas of orange pith, pear and white flowers, with a strong suggestion of chalky minerals. Dry, mineral accented citrus fruit flavors become fleshier with air and pick up an exotic floral pastille quality. Silky and seamless in texture, finishing with outstanding clarity and mineral driven persistence.” 92 Points ST.

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