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Posted on Jul 10, 2007 in
Grilled San Clemente Calico Bass

By Steve Black

With Chive-Parsely-Sour Cream Chunky Potato Mash and
Charred Tomato and Red Pepper Salsa

Yield 6

6 ea. Ultra Fresh Calico Bass Fillets, Make portions big, you're gonna like this...
½ Cup Gerard's Old Venice Italian Dressing
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ TBSP. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Granulated Garlic
½ tsp. Onion Powder
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Pam non-stick spray, for Grilling

You can use any kind of fish you like for this recipe as long as it can take to grilling, and that your grill churns out enough BTU's to heat your healthy Grill Grates to keep your prized catch from sticking. If you need any advice, please ask me for BTU recommendations.

Add the Dressing, Olive Oil, Salt, Granulated Garlic and Onion Powder in a small bowl and mix together with a fork or whip. Place your fillets on a large plate or pan and drizzle with your new found amazingly simple marinade over your fresh fillets, on both sides. Once again, make sure you turn your fillets and season both sides. Proceed by then grinding some fresh ground black pepper to your liking on both sides as well. Cover and place your fillets in the fridge and let marry together for at least one hour.


Yield 6

24 Ozs. Peeled, Cubed Yukon Gold Potatoes. Russet Potatoes or Red Skins work fine also. I like the Yukon Gold because of their high starch content and the creamy finished texture they provide in the end. Fishermen cannot always be picky! Make due with what you have, your fresh fish is what is most important here. I would love this with fresh Bluefish Fillets if I were in Nantucket, Red Drum in the Gulf, Cobia in the South, or Salmon in the Northwest! Your experience is what counts most here!

4 Ozs. Sweet Butter, soft-room temperature

1/3-1/4 Cup Heavy Cream, Warmed - Depending on how you like your Mashed Potatoes, will determine how much cream you need. Softer or Firmer. And also the amount of time before service will determine the amount of cream you need. The longer the period from preparation to service, the more cream you will need to keep them soft. You do not want Cement Potato Puree, you worked too hard and spent too much money on Fuel, Bait, Ice and Beer to mess up your Mashed Taters’, Extra Cream and additional heat keeps Mashed Potatoes softer for longer periods of time and I guarantee they will ask for seconds on this one.

½ Cup Sour Cream

1 TBSP. Chopped Curley Parsley, (Italian Parsley is fine also)

1 TBSP. Chopped Chives

Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Simmer the Peeled Potatoes gently, in lightly salted water for 15 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the Butter, Heavy Cream and Sour Cream and smash by hand with a large spoon or Hand Potato masher. When you have smashed about half of the mix, add your Parsley, Chives and season with Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper. This will give you the chunky style Mashed Potato that make this dish so much better, but ultimately it's your call. You will need to test for salt before adding more. Remember, you can always add more, but never take it out. Go easy until you taste what you like.

Something as simple as mashed potatoes take great care to prepare correctly. Also, never cook potatoes at a rolling boil, as it breaks down their starch content too vigorously resulting in a runnier finished product. Go nice and slow, like when you troll for Threshers or Makos to get the right results.

Place your Potatoes in an ovenproof dish, place in a 300-degree oven so now you can grill your fresh catch! And hey, even if you run late with the fish, you get the added bonus of Soufflé Mashed Potatoes that will automatically happen from letting your mashed potatoes sit in a warm oven! But that is for another time and explanation, just know that you easily have one hour to get your fish grilled, so take your time, enjoy the sensation of still being on the water as your head surges with the day's swell and enjoy that fine Micro Brew or bottle of special Wine you will be serving with your prized catch.


1 Can Diced Tomatoes, with Oregano & Garlic, (14.5 ozs.)
1 Large Red Pepper
2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Ea.Crushed Garlic Cloves
2 TBSP. Fresh Chopped Basil
1 TBSP. Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher Salt-To Taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper-To Taste
Crushed Chile Pepper Flakes-To Taste(Take it easy with this)

- Grill the Red Pepper over an open flame until the outer skin is charred. Place on a plate and let cool. Remove as much outer skin as possible, de-seed and dice up the flesh into medium sized pieces.

- In a small pan, simmer the Olive Oil & Garlic gently for 2 minutes making sure not to burn the garlic, add the diced Peppers, Canned Tomatoes, Balsamic Vinegar, some Red Pepper Flakes, Salt & Black Pepper and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, then add the fresh chopped Basil and let simmer to evaporate any excess liquid. Using a hand blender or food processor, pulse the Salsa until smooth, but leaving some chunky texture to the Sauce. This can be served Warm or cool while kept in the fridge for several weeks. It's very good for breakfast omelets also if you are offshore.


Your Chunky Mashed Potatoes are warm in the oven, your Tomato Salsa is at room temperature or warm, ready to go, and now you can grill your fish. Make sure you cook your fillets thoroughly, but not too much. An electric thermometer is key. I will provide more information on standard kitchen equipment in the future, but cook to an internal temperature of 145. Place a scoop of your Potato Mash in the center of the plate, top with your grilled, Ultra Fresh Sea Bass, and top with a spoonful of your newly prized Salsa recipe! I ate 2 portions of this after being overloaded with Albacore and Blue fin from my recent July 4th trip at San Clemente Island.

Everyone loves mild, white-fleshed fish, as I fondly remember my favorite fish from the past as the noble Atlantic Codfish and Atlantic Striped Bass that I used to catch in Boston Harbor in my 20's. Every fish is special, especially when you catch it, so treat it the same way you feel! You represent a small group of individuals who truly understand the romance of cooking what you catch and only you can understand and spread that special feeling of how it feels to plan, rig, present, hook, catch, cook and serve what you have worked for! To have out thought your adversary and to now treat it with the special care that it now deserves that makes your meal that much more special to serve. This is time for CELEBRATION!

Steve Black
Executive Chef, Sheraton San Diego
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marin
1380 Harbor Island Drive
San Diego, California, 92101