Saturday, October 24, 2009
Pan Roasted Sea Bass
The kids wanted pizza the other night, which was fine, but I was definitely craving something a little more.. uhh.. not pizza. So I stopped by my favorite fish market to see what they had on hand. Sea bass... yeah, that was definitely better than pizza! I picked up a half pound of the sea bass and some steamers and was happily on my way to a nice grown up dinner.
As you can see from the picture, sea bass filets are very thick, so if you're used to cooking thinner filets, this can pose some interesting challenges. One of the best ways I've found to conquer this challenge, and also create a wonderful flavor and texture is by pan roasting it. Pan roasting will create a beautiful crust on the fish (or any thick cut of meat) and leave the inside moist and tender. Trust me, you gotta try this!
skinless sea bass filets, cut into about 4 oz pieces
canola oil (or another oil with a high smoke point)
desired seasonings (try to avoid herbs, they'll burn.. salt and pepper will do more than you think here)
oven proof skillet
Preheat the oven to 450ºF about 10 minutes before you start.
Heat the canola oil in the oven proof skillet until it's very hot, almost to the smoke point (the oil will seem to shimmer).
Season the fish with salt and pepper, cajun seasoning is also good. Place in hot skillet and let it sear (don't crowd the pan, make sure the pan is large enough to accomodate the fish without the pieces touching, if the pieces don't have enough space, you won't be able to get a sear). Don't try to turn the fish too soon or it will stick to the pan and you won't get that nice crust. This should take about 3 minutes or so. Turn the fish with a flexible spatula and allow to begin searing on the other side about 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and place in preheated oven. Cook fish until it flakes easily with a fork (the 8oz filet I had took about 12 minutes).
Serve with your favorite sauce (lemon butter, white wine reduction, etc).