Sunday, January 19, 2014

Striped Sea Bass with Roasted Vegetables, Wheat Berries and Carrot Puree

This week’s theme is ‘ingredients you hated as a kid’ so basically vegetable week. I always hated carrots above all other vegetables, until I discovered that you could roast them and make them delicious. Or braisem the in red wine, that’s always a winner. I added some other kid-hated foods to round out the meal, brussels sprouts and fish, which apparently a lot of kids hate but I always loved fish and my mom never actually cooked brussels sprouts until recently. I wanted to make this with farro, but the supermarket was out so I saw these wheat berries and figured why not. Can’t say I’m a fan of them myself, but I wanted to try something different.

Carrot Puree
1 lb. carrots
1 cup white wine
2 shallots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Roast the carrots at 400°F for 40 minutes. Add to a food processor along with all the other ingredients except for the salt, pepper and water. Process to a puree and pour in water as needed to get your desired consistency.

Roasted Vegetables
Brussels Sprouts
Bacon fat
Duck fat
Salt and pepper

Cut the brussels sprouts in half and remove the outer leaves. Toss with bacon fat, and season with salt and pepper and place in a baking pan. Lay some thyme on top – I would have thrown a clove of garlic in there, but I was all out (a culinary sin, I know).

Clean the carrots off and toss with duck fat, salt and pepper. Place in a separate baking dish along with rosemary and garlic if you want.

Roast the carrots at 425°F for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through. Roast the brussel sprouts at 425°F for 25 minutes. Discard herbs.

Wheat Berries
½ cup pre-steamed wheat berries
1 ¼ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

This is for pre-steamed wheat berries which cook quicker than the plain jane ones – I think those take an hour and a half or so. These are easy though – bring your stock to a boil, add some salt and add in the wheat berries. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. They will be a little chewy, but tender. Strain, then toss with lemon juice and olive oil.

Striped sea bass filets
Olive oil

Cut slits across the skin of the sea bass so that the skin will not curl up when cooking. Season with salt and pepper on both sides, making sure to rub some in the slits.

Heat a pan over medium high, and add olive oil. Cook the filets starting skin side down, for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through. Times will vary depending on the thickness of your filet – if you do this with a very thick fish you may want to finish it in the oven.

Place a spoonful of carrot puree on the plate and drag a spoon through it to get that neat swoosh looking effect. Place vegetables on top, then place the wheat berries in the empty part of the plate and lean the fish on top.


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