Recipe Friday: Match Restaurant & Lounge Sea Bass

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Recipes Issue: March 2018

If you're ready to tackle a multifaceted fish recipe for a special occasion dinner, this one's for you.

Match Restaurant & Lounge executive chef Alex Stratta offers a sea bass recipe that's complex in preparation, but uses simple ingredients. "This is a very traditional Provencal application," Stratta says. "It reminds me of the south of France."

The Michelin-starred, James Beard Award-winning chef says he enjoys introducing people to foods that they may not be too familiar with cooking or eating – in this case, artichokes. "You don't see fresh artichokes in this presentation very often. You usually see them steamed or already cooked, cleaned and marinated."

You can substitute any fish, Stratta says. When shopping, "you may be thinking sea bass, but end up with red snapper. Whatever looks the freshest."

If you want to get a real time look at the recipe, the dish is on the Match Restaurant & Lounge dinner menu.

Oven-Roasted Sea Bass
wirh artichokes | caramelized carrots | citrus-parsley sauce

Artichokes
¼ cup olive oil
8 fresh artichoke hearts (turned/quartered and reserved in salted water)
2 cups fennel (cut in 3" long by ½" wide slices)
2 cups carrots (cut in 3" long by ½" wide battons, core removed)
¼ cup garlic cloves
1 cup green onions
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 each bay leaves
2 cups dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Heat the olive oil over high heat in a heavy rondeau pot (or large, wide sauce pot) and allow to smoke. Drain artichokes well. Add the fennel, garlic, carrots and thyme to the hot oil and color lightly. Add the salt and pepper then the drained artichokes and color mixture well. Deglaze with the wine and reduce quickly until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes) and liquid is evaporated. Spread cooked vegetables onto a baking dish and refrigerate. Once cooled, remove thyme and bay leaves and discard.

Oven-dried tomatoes
4 each medium ripe tomatoes (peeled and seeded, cut into 4 petals)
1/3 cup blended olive oil
4 each cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. thyme
TT- salt and white pepper

Preparation
Heat a convection oven with a high fan at 225 degrees F. You can also use a regular oven. Line a flat half sheet pan with a silpat (silicone baking mat) and brush lightly with some of the oil and arrange the tomato petals (cut side down) onto the silpat. Slice the garlic cloves into thin slices and place one slice on each petal of tomato. Season lightly with the salt and pepper, sprinkle around with thyme and pour the remaining oil on the tomatoes, making sure each each petal is coated well. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, turning the pan every half hour to ensure even cooking. Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove and discard the garlic and thyme and reserve the tomatoes on a paper lined tray with the excess oil from the cooking. Reserve until needed for up to three days.

Parsley-lemon sauce
½ cup minced shallots
1 bunch thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1 ½ lbs. sweet butter
½ cup parsley puree
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Preparation
Sweat the shallots in a tablespoon of butter and add the thyme, deglaze with the white wine and reduce to dry, add the chicken stock and reduce to one tablespoon. Add the cream and simmer. Remove from heat and incorporate the butter in small pieces until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and season. Finish with the parsley puree and lemon juice moments before serving.

Sea bass
8 each filets of meager sea bass or any fresh sea bass (5 ½ to 6 ounces each)
2 tbsp. butter
6 each garlic cloves
1 bunch thyme
Salt and pepper

Preparation
Dry the filets well and season well on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan over high heat and sear the fish, presentation side down, and color until light golden brown. Roast in a 400F oven for 2 minutes then flip, adding butter, thyme and garlic. Continue to cook, basting often for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until fish is 140F internal temperature. Drain off onto an absorbent paper and keep warm.

For the garnish
4 tbsp. parsley leaves
4 tbsp. golden pea tendrils

Presenting the dish
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp. chicken stock
2 tbsp. butter
Glaze the artichokes with butter and chicken stock, finishing with chopped parsley. Spoon the green sauce on the bottom of a warm plate, arranging the artichokes in the center. Place the fish on top and garnish with tomatoes, parsley leaves and pea tendrils.