Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pan Seared Sea Bass

This week I had a couple of OMG moments. The first one occurred when I finally found the time to check out a new local market. This store made me feel like I had died and gone to heaven! The market is set in this lovely old brick building that was renovated for its new use. This post is a result of this amazing new place, The Market at Washington and High.

I live (not literally, but it has seemed like it food wise) in the middle of nowhere. The availability of fresh sea food, fabulous meats, organic produce and other incredible products to cook with was limited. This new place is relatively close, about a 20 minute drive from my house. I can't believe that I finally have access to the wonders that are offered there without a 40 minute drive!

I wandered around like a kid in a candy store. They had cobia, so fresh that it had not a single odor. They had Chilean sea bass and wonderful Italian sausages and venison, lamb, elk, duck, fresh baked breads, organic produce (Chinese eggplant! I'm going to have to cook some of that), spices and dried mushrooms and peppers and incredible condiments. I'm in love.

The second OMG moment happened when I ate this meal. Pan seared sea bass with mushroom garlic parmesan grits and fresh spinach. Wow, was it ever tasty.

Mushroom Garlic Parmesan Grits:
4 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/8 tsp dry thyme leaves
1 Pint mushrooms (I used portobello)
1 cup quick grits
2 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup heavy cream
salt and black pepper to taste
4Tbs parmigiano reggiano cheese, finely grated

In a sauce pan, melt 2 Tbs of the butter, add the garlic and thyme. Saute for about 3 minutes, add the mushrooms. Saute until golden. Stir in grits, add chicken stock, reduce heat and simmer until the grits thicken. Add the heavy cream, 2 Tbs butter, salt and pepper.

Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and bubbly (About 20 minutes). This is enough time to prepare the fish and spinach.

Pan Seared Sea Bass and Spinach:
Center Cut Fillets of Sea Bass
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbs canola oil
6 ounces of fresh spinach, washed
2 Tbs butter

Season the sea bass on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a heavy skillet over medium heat, add the canola oil and bring it to a very slight smoke. Add the sea bass and cook for 7 minutes (Don't move it). Carefully turn the fish and cook the other side for the same time. The beautiful golden color and crispy skin is your reward. Remove the sea bass and hold in a warm location.

In the same skillet, add the spinach. To the wilted spinach add the butter and season with salt and pepper.

Layer the plate with a square of the grits, a small amount of the spinach on the grits and place the sea bass on an angle.

Heck. Just toss it on the plate. You won't be looking at how pretty it is, you'll be chowing down. This is some seriously good stuff.



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