I love salmon morsel than Tuna and Salmon is regarded as a very healthy fish, which explains its popularity amongst restaurants. For your fast dinning restaurant experience, Chili’s for example, salmon is one of the few options available for celiac’s as it’s often prepared simply broiled or grilled. Of course, the restaurants that don’t specialize in serving seafood often over cook the poor innocent fish till the interior is dry and hardly edible. Prior to my arrival to my fiancé’s house, his family had more than once a week dined out or ordered fast food. Whenever possible, since there isn’t a Chili’s in the area, they would dine out at the facility. Chili’s is okay and Phillip and I often go there since they do semi-cater to celiac’s, but the way they cook their salmon is a 50/50 chance, varying between the cook that day. Some would overcook a gorgeous piece of fish till the exterior is burnt and the flesh barely remains moist, or, the cook would actually grill it appropriately. Red Lobster, another food establishment that is pretty decent in accommodating those with food allergies, does prepare their seafood quite well, but, the selection of seafood doesn’t differ much from the typical USDA recommendations and due to the high price of importing, they tend to stick to the more common varieties.
The fish monger (guy who sells you the fish) also states there’s an appearance factor to fish, apparently. In other words, if it looks weird, it normally won’t sell. This is the problem I’m finding with skate wing. The fish monger said that they won’t carry skate wing because customer’s find its shape odd. Odd? It’s shaped like a triangle! How odd can a triangle be? Well, if I did want it, I’d have to order 3 lbs since it’s the minimum of an order and, at $8.99 a pound, I don’t think so. That’s near as expensive as my choice for today. Well, one of the two. The last one came off as a splurge since I saw it last minute and went “Oh my god I want!” mentally, of course, mentally. That “splurge”, however, will come when I do prepare the dish. For now, we’ll describe candidate numero uno – Chilean Sea Bass. There’s so much talk about Chilean Sea Bass but I, however, wasn’t that impressed. It was good and tasty but I just didn’t see the wow factor. I’m still hooked on salmon, I think.
Chilean Sea Bass is supposed to be so fatty that it’s hard to mistreat and, according to my fish monger, “there is no other like the Chilean Sea Bass”. Of course, after I said it was expensive, he suggested the halibut to be an equally good substitute. The price difference, being so stark (about 74 cents), I went for the Chilean Sea Bass. With any fish, I don’t like to over dress it. I don’t like the delicate flesh of the fish to be masked by an overly pungent sauce, seasoning, or dressing nor do I like my fish well done to the point where it’s difficult to digest as when I come across tuna on more than one occasion. Because of the high fat content of the Chilean Sea Bass, overcooking the fish is said to be near impossible. If it was only cheaper, it would be a great fish for the novice fish chef to experiment with. Ever since I got my new camera, and after watching the entire second season of Top Chef (I’m addicted to cooking reality shows), I’m viewing food differently. Not only is the flavor of food important to me, but the appearance and presentation of food is becoming increasingly essential as well. After all, I do decorate cakes as a hobby. This recipe is an example of how anal retentive I’ve become. After reading one of my cook books about how Hubert Keller, an esteemed French Chef with a special on WHYY (I think), draws out his plating arrangement five to six times before settling on a finished display, I take a little more time in making my meals more appealing to the eye.
Broiled Chilean Sea Bass with Pistachio Butter Sauce Potato Eggplant Terrine and Pan Fried Herbed Orange Asparagus
Eggplant Potato Terrine 1 medium starchy potato, peeled and diced ½ of a small eggplant, sliced in thin circlets ¼ inch thick 1 tbsp nondairy margarine 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp white wine Salt Pepper
For the potato, proceed as you would in making mashed potatoes. Boil, mash, add seasonings and margarine.
For the eggplant, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lay the eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and brush with the wine and balsamic vinegar on both sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and cook for 7 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 7 on the other. Assure that the eggplant is thoroughly cooked.
Line a small dish, round or square, with plastic wrap and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray. Like a lasgana, layer the eggplant and potato mash starting with the eggplant and ending with it as well. So you should have: eggplant, potato, eggplant, potato, and finally eggplant. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. When ready to serve, simply unmold.
The Sea Bass 1 8 oz bass filet
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper, spray the top with nonstick cooking spray and broil for 10minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet.
Pistachio Butter Sauce A handful of pistachios 1 scallion, minced - green reserved for garnish 1 tbsp nondairy margarine 1 small clove of garlic, minced 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar ½ cup water 2 tbsp white wine
Smash the pistachios until a moderate meal is made.
In a small sauce pan, sweat the scallion until soft then add the garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on a low heat until you achieve a reduction two tablespoons worth.
Pan-fried Herbed Orange Asparagus 8 to 10 spears of asparagus per person, depending on size (mine were tiny - so cute!), trimmed and cleaned ½ tbsp dried rosemary ½ tsp dried thyme 1 tbsp orange zest
Heat a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and add the asparagus to the pan, slowly turning for even coloration. Add the spices with a little water if necessary towards the end of the cooking process. Note, for me I hate overcooked asparagus so I cooked them for about 5 to 6 minutes. I like it mildly crunchy but if you prefer softer, cook for a longer period of time.
With the reserved scallion greens, slice very thin and scatter about the plate as a garnish
If you’re a wine aficionado, pair this elegant meal with a mild tasting white wine.