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Posted on Sep 19, 2011 in
Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Crusted White Sea Bass
by Steve Black

Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Crusted White Sea Bass with
Heirloom Fingerling Potatoes & Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4

4 Each White Sea Bass Fillets, 5 oz., no more than 1.5 inches thick
4 Ozs. Canola Oil
1 Ea. Whole Egg
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
3 TBSP. AP Flour
3 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomato Spread-purchased from the store
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
8 Ozs. Fingerling Potatoes, sliced
8 Ea. Baby Carrots, peeled
6 Oz. Brussel Sprouts, split
6 Oz. Peeled Pearl Onions
1 Ea. Roasted Red Pepper
4 Ea. Baby Zucchini
4 Ea. Baby Yellow Squash
2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

  • In a mixing bowl, crack open the egg, add the milk and whip together.
  • Next, whip in the AP flour to form a batter and set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine the panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan and turn on.  While the crumb mixture is blending, add the sun dried tomato spread and the fresh basil leaves.  Mix until the basil is ground down finely.  Remove from the food processor and place into a mixing bowl.
  • Take the fish fillets and coat them with some of the egg & flour batter mixture.  Then coat the fish well with the bread crumb mix and place on a plate.
  • At this point you can begin to prep the vegetables as follows:
  • Take all of the vegetables and mix in a bowl with the Olive Oil and season with Salt & Pepper.  Place on a roasting pan and bake in the oven at 350.  They will take 20 or so minutes.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, take a large sauté pan and fill with 1/4 inch of Canola Oil on medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot (not too hot), place the breaded fillets in the oil and begin to pan fry the fish.  Turn over as each side browns.  Since the fillets are not too thick, you will be able to fishing them fully in the pan.
  • Cook each side for 3-4 minutes and once both sides have browned, check the internal temperature with an electric thermometer and cook the fish until they hit 145 degrees.
  • Remove the fish from the pan onto a plate lined with some paper towels.
  • The vegetables should be done at this point, so remove them from the oven.
  • Place the vegetables on your dinner plates in a random, attractive manner that is eye appealing to you.
  • Top with fish and then drizzle with the Tomato Butter.


Tomato-Basil Butter
Makes 1 Cup

1 Chopped Shallot
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
8 Ozs. Sweet Butter, room temp.
1 TBSP. Tomato Paste
1 TBSP. Chopped Fresh Basil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

  • In a saucepan, add the chopped shallot & white wine and reduce over medium high heat until the wine has reduced 90%.
  • Add the heavy cream and let simmer until it too has reduced 80% and becomes thick.  The thickness of the cream is what will give your sauce its stability.
  • Add the tomato paste and mix well removing any clumps.
  • Turn down the heat to medium and then flake in the sweet butter.  As the butter melts it will not separate, but emulsify with the cream reduction and become nice and velvety.
  • When the butter has all been added, season with S&P and then add the fresh basil leaves at the end so they stay a nice, bright green.
  • Top your fish with the butter and serve.



Baby Spinach & Roasted Pear Salad
Serves 4

6 Oz. Baby Spinach, washed & dried
4 Oz. Lolla Rossa Lettuce, washed & dried
4 Oz. Bibb Lettuce, washed & dried
2 Oz. Frissee Lettuce, washed & dried
2 Ea. Ripe Pear, any variety, roasted, peeled & seeded
2 Ea. Red Radishes, sliced
4 Ea. Baby Red Pear Tomato
4 Ea. Baby Yellow Pear Tomato
2 TBSP. Roasted Pepitas
Goat Cheese
Few Whole Chives for garnish
Carrot & Beet Curls, for garnish

  • Use four nice salad bowls & arrange the Lolla Rossa & Bibb lettuce leaves on the base of the plate.
  • Mix the spinach leaves & Frissee together and place on top of the layer lettuce leaves in the bowl.
  • Slice the roasted pear and place 3 to 5 slices in a circular pattern on the spinach.  Remember that odd numbers look better to keep a symmetrical eye appeal.
  • Next place the sliced radishes and baby pear tomatoes around the salad.
  • Sprinkle with the spiced pepitas and then lay the slice of goat cheese on the outer edge.
  • Garnish with carrot curls, beet curls & chive bars.


Pear-Champagne Vinaigrette
1 Pint

3 TBSP. Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Pear Juice, or Apple Juice if Pear is not available
1 Clove Garlic, peeled
1 Small Shallot, peeled
3 TBSP. Rice Wine Vinegar
12 Ozs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

  • Add all ingredients, except the olive oil, salt & pepper into a narrow, straight edged container.
  • Using a hand immersion blender, or regular blender, mix ingredients on high speed for 30 seconds to puree everything together.
  • Next, slowly stream in the olive oil and the dressing will become emulsified and thick.  Once the oil is all added, season with kosher salt & pepper.  Mix again and let stand five minutes for seasonings to come out.  Especially the salt.
  • Taste to make sure it is how you prefer it and if you prefer the dressing a bit thinner, you can add some more pear juice and vinegar.
  • Make the dressing in advance to allow it to cool down in the refrigerator.