Roast Fillet of Sea Bass Recipe from our Loire Valley Cooking Vacation
The Loire Valley in France has a plethora of seasonal ingredients, due to its lush and fertile landscape. But don’t be surprised to see seafood and fish on the menu too! In fact, during our Culinary Adventure in the Loire Valley cooking vacation, they have a whole class dedicated to fresh fish.
As Chef Sidney shares about this class: “At 4 a.m., our fish delivery arrived off the boats that came in late last night at the Atlantic port of La Rochelle.” The port is just two hours from the school, and it ensures that you’re enjoying the freshest fish possible. The class even talks about identifying the best catch of the season and some techniques to cook your fish.
In the meantime, Chef Sidney shares one of his favorite sea bass recipes with The International Kitchen. This roast fillet is made with chorizo oil, aubergine caviar, basil, and fennel, and it’s as decadent and delicious as it sounds! It’s also a perfect weekend recipe.
- 1 liter (about 1/4 gallon) sun dried tomato juice
- 8 baby fennel bulbs
- Olive oil
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 fillets of sea bass
- Aubergine caviar (to taste)
- 60g (just over 2 oz) chorizo sausage, sliced
- 40g (just under 1 1/2 oz) black olives, halved
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 60g (just over 2 oz) tomatoes (blanched, skinned, deseeded, and diced)
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 sprig basil, separated into leaves
- 15g (1 tbsp) unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7/400°F.
2. Pour the tomato juice in a pan and allow it to bubble until it reduces to a syrup. Reserve.
3. Cook the fennel in boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
4. On the stovetop, heat a large ovenproof pan so that it becomes very hot, and then add a little bit of olive oil. To this, add the bay leaves and fry the sea bass (or turbot — flat fish), skin side down. Flip the fish over and cook briefly.
5. Add the aubergine caviar, cooked fennel, chorizo, and halved olives. Season.
6. Turn the fish over again so that the skin side is down and transfer to the oven for about 5 minutes or until the skin of the fish is golden and the flesh just cooked.
7. Just before serving, add the chopped and whole cherry tomatoes with the basil and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
8. Heat the tomato syrup gently in a pan and stir in the butter. Season to taste.
9. To serve, arrange the chorizo, fennel, olives and chopped tomatoes in the centre of each plate. Place the fish fillet on top, together with a fried bay leaf. Pour some tomato syrup around, sprinkle with chorizo oil and garnish with deep fried basil leaves, cherry tomatoes and a dried tomato slice. Enjoy!
Discover more fabulous recipes from Chef Sidney and his wife Chef Alison during an unforgettable week in the Loire Valley.
By Liz Hall
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