Crispy Striped Bass with Citrus Glaze & Fennel Parsley Salad
|Bass fillets||1 Pound, skin on, cut into two servings|
|Fennel bulbs||1 (with fronds attached (the feathery stuff))|
|Flat leaf italian parsley||3 Ounce, rinse well, trim off stems (1 Bunch)|
|White wine||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Butter stick||1 , diced and kept chilled|
|Olive oil||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), divided (used to fry and for salad dressing)|
|Lemon||1 , juiced|
|Warm water||1 Tablespoon|
|Cornstarch||1 Teaspoon, mixed with 1 tbsp cold water (Secret Weapon, Cornstarch Slurry)|
1. Let the fish come up to room temperature.
2. In a saucepan combine wine and ½ lemon juice and start heating up over medium heat.
3. Roughly chop half of the fennel fronds and stems and add it to the wine.
4. Simmer until the liquid reduces to half, remove the stems and any big pieces from the sauce and keep it aside.
5. Thinly slice the bulb part of the fennel and place in a bowl, add whole parsley leaves to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate.
6. In a small bowl combine salt and pepper, ½ of the olive oil and ½ of the lemon juice and mix well keep it aside.
7. In a pan add ½ of the olive oil and then ½ of the butter. Butter should be very bubbly.
8. Pat dry the fish and season it with salt and pepper on both sides.
9. Place the fish in the hot pan, sear the fish for 3 minutes per side.
10. In the meantime prepare the salad, mix the dressing well and pour over the fennel and parsley. Mound it up in the middle of the serving plate; use the browned stuff in the bottom of your sauté pan;
11. Remove the fish from the sauté pan to rest on paper towels.
12. Carefully pour off some of the excess butter and oil mixture to discard. Then pour the last bits of browned goodness into the wine sauce you prepared earlier.
13. Remove from heat and add diced cold butter to the mixture and stir until all butter is melted and sauce is glossy.
14. You can add the cornstarch slurry, combine cornstarch and water and mix until you get a smooth consistency.
15. Add the cornstarch slurry into the fish sauce incase if you want a thick sauce.
16. Serve the crispy bass with fresh fennel and parsley salad with a drizzle of the citrus glaze.
Don’t strain the sauce. You want some of the fronds to stay in the sauce and straining it would take everything out.
Do not allow the fish to smoke.
Your ‘secret weapon’ may be used at this point if you want your sauce to be thicker. What you have now is a ‘buerre blanc’ – an elegant thin wine and butter sauce. You can use it as is…thin is good. If you prefer a thicker sauce you can make the slurry and add it slowly to your buerre blanc, bringing it to a mild boil while stirring.