Stuffed Sea Bass With Montpellier Butter
|Sea bass||5 Pound|
|Watercress||1 (For Garnish)|
|For montpellier butter|
|Onion||1 Small, skinned|
|Parsley sprigs||1 Large|
|Chopped watercress||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Hard boiled egg yolk||3|
|Unsalted butter||6 Tablespoon, softened|
|Unsalted butter||4 Tablespoon|
|Onion||1 Large, finely chopped|
|Red pepper||1 Small, cored, seeded and finely chopped|
|Green pepper||1 Small, cored, seeded and finely chopped|
|Yellow pepper||1 Small, cored, seeded and finely chopped|
|Canned peeled plum tomato||1 1⁄4 Pound, drained, seeded and roughly chopped|
|Garlic||2 Clove (10 gm), crushed (Large)|
|Cooked shelled mussels||1 Pound|
To make the Montpellier butter, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, then add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes, to soften.
Add the spinach, parsley and watercress to the water, and cook for 1 minute.
Pour into a colander, then refresh under a cold tap.
Squeeze the spinach, parsley and watercress dry.
Very finely chop the spinach, parsley, watercress, onion, capers and anchovies.
Press the egg yolks through a nylon sieve.
Beat the sieved yolks and all of the chopped ingredients into the butter, beating well until very smooth and creamy.
Alternatively, put all of the ingredients, unchopped, into a blender or food processor and blend for about 2 minutes.
Spoon the Montpellier butter into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare the stuffing, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the chopped onion and the peppers and fry gently for 10 minutes, until very soft, without browning.
Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic and stir.
Continue cooking gently until the mixture becomes thick, about 20 minutes.
Season very well with salt and pepper.
Allow to cool, then mix in the mussels.
Set aside while preparing the bass.
To prepare the bass, remove the scales using the back of a small strong knife. (The scales on a bass are quite large and strong, and can fly to unwanted places in the kitchen when they are being removed. To prevent this happening, the bass may be scaled inside a very large plastic bag.)
Remove the fins using strong kitchen scissors.
Slit the bass along the belly, then remove the entrails.
Wash the bass under cold water, then dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Using a very small, sharp knife, carefully remove the bones from the bass loosen each of the long bones, that are at each side of the backbone, individually.
Then, keeping the knife close to the bones, cut the flesh away from the backbone.
Cut the backbone free, at the head and the tail end of the fish.
Remove and discard the bones.
Season the bass, then fill it with the mussel stuffing.
Sew the bass up with fine string or very strong thread.
Wrap the bass tightly in foil, then place it on a very large baking sheet. (If you do not have one very large baking sheet, place two flat baking sheets side-by-side on the oven shelf, then place the bass on top.)
Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 35-45 minutes, until the flesh will flake easily when tested with a fork.
To serve, very carefully remove the cooked bass from the foil onto a long, hot serving dish.
Remove the string or thread.
Garnish with watercress, and serve with the Montpellier butter.