25/08/2013

Sea Bass Sandwich

Sea Bass Sandwich
... not in bread, or something you can pick up, but a sandwich nevertheless. Two fish fillets - doubling up the goodness!

Sea bass glean a good number of cuts, the tail fillets being thin ... and cheap.

They're just thick enough to have structure, yet thin enough to fry off in only a couple of minutes once the rest of the ingredients have been prepared - great for folks who struggle to get everything to come together at the end.

So, this sandwich ...

The filler is a spritzy dice of cucumber, tomato, radish, red onion, chilli, spring onion and shaved fennel splashed with a little cider vinegar. Slice and dice into matchsticks and into the fridge for a good hour to chill right down and permit the acid to take the sting out of the onion.

Next, the warm part of the meal ...

I went with some butternut squash and cauliflower. The squash was peeled, chopped into chunks and roasted in the oven in goose fat at 180C for about 30 minutes; the cauli, steamed for maybe 10 towards the end.

Meanwhile, dress a plate ...

Take a plate and dress it with salad leaves and black pepper, over which the fish and the warm ingredients will sit. Freestyle here! Dress it however you like, with whatever you have and whatever YOU think looks pretty and will taste good. Pretty? YES! Food should look good, too - the first bite is with the eye.

Optionally, drop some fruit on ...

Fish, generally, works well with fruit; sea bass almost perfectly with citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit. I had a pink grapefruit, so segmented it and divided over the plates.

Ready to put it all together?

With the warm ingredients ready, melt a little butter in a heavy based frying pan and pop the sea bass fillets in, skin side down.

While you transfer the warm ingredients to the plate, scattered around, the fish will cook through. The skin should be crispy and the fleshy side just starting to go opaque. Maybe two minutes? Flip them over and remove from the heat - the residual heat will cook the fish through just perfectly. Another minute will do.

The sandwich ...

Once fillet down, fill with the diced "pico de gallo" and place another fillet on top. Voila! Le Sandwich!

I went with a little shredded chicory to garnish. Herbs would have been better, but I didn't have any in ... at all! I know, the horror!

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