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Cookin’ with SAUCE : Paupiette of Sea Bass with Barolo Sauce

BASICALLY, its Sea Bass wrapped in thinly sliced potato, crisped up nicely, on a oh so buttery and satiating bed of buttered leeks with a sexy red wine SAUCE…yea baby….yea…*Try saying this out loud in your best Barry White voice…R.I.P.*

Now some of you pro cooks or at-home pro cooks out there may be talking already and saying, oh this is that one dish…well, YOU’RE RIGHT! So pay attention grasshoppa, and get ‘er done!!! This recipe can be very easy to make, but also very easy to mess up if you don’t use all the the main ingredients which include : patience, love, a little passion, some butta, and yup… SAUCE! (maybe even a drink or a few)

This recipe is originally by the famous french Chef Daniel Boulud and you could try going out to find this dish…..or save a couple bucks and try this recipe out in your own kitchen?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime…”

I always like to turn on some sweet jams while I’m choppin’ it up……here……try this……..or this………or this……..or summa this……here’s a good one too……this too……WOOHAAA!

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the Paupiette of Sea Bass:

4 fillets of sea bass, 7 ounces each, skinless, bones set aside for the sauce if there are any

(if you don’t have sea bass or can’t find any, another white and meaty type of fish will work, like tilapia/catfish/halibut/etc…)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 sprigs fresh thyme: 1 sprig leaves only, chopped, and 2 sprigs halved for garnish

2 very large baking potatoes, peeled

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Leeks:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks, the white part only, sliced thin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce…SAUCE?!:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking

1/2 cup peeled and chopped shallots

1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms, caps only

1/2 sprig fresh thyme

1 cup unsalted chicken stock

1 bottle (750 ml) of Barolo wine or other good italian red wine

1 tablespoon heavy cream

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pinch of sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced chives (optional)

Method

For the Paupiette of Sea Bass:

Make each fillet as rectangular as possible (about 5 inches by 2 inches) by trimming off the uneven edges with a sharp knife. Season the fish with the salt and pepper and also the chopped thyme.

You will need a sharp knife and a mandolin if you have one for this next step, using a knife, slice the round edge of the potato on both sides so it has two flat side, then place them on the mandolin and slice them on a very thin setting, thin enough so that they don’t, break but thick enough so that they can maintain an even layer around the fish. Each potato should yield about 16 slices (about 8 slices are needed to wrap 1 fish fillet). DON’T RINSE the potato slices, just keep working fast so they don’t turn brown, the starch will help when you wrap them around the fillets.

Toss the potato slices in 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted, and a pinch of salt. Place a 10-inch square piece of parchment paper on the counter. Choose 8 potato slices of approximately the same length. Place a fillet of fish horizontally at the top of the parchment paper so you can match the length of the potato wrap to the length of the fish. Place the first slice of potato perpendicular to the fish starting on the left side. Place a second slice overlapping the first one by about 3/8 inch from the left edge. Continue overlapping the potato slices until you have covered an area equal to the length of the fillet of fish. Center the fish horizontally in the middle of the potato wrap and fold the edges of the potatoes over the fish to enclose it entirely. Repeat the same process for the remaining fillets and refrigerate.

For the Leeks:

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sweat until soft, about 4 minutes, make sure to not overcook them, you want it to stay as bright in color as possible. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on the side.

For the Sauce…the SAUCE!? :

Heat the oil in a pot over high heat. Add the reserved sea bass bones, the shallots, mushrooms, and thyme sprig and roast for 8 to 10 minutes while stirring often. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and cook until completely reduced. Add the Barolo wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half.

Remove and discard the fish bones with a mesh skimmer. Reduce the sauce to 2 tablespoons. Add the heavy cream, stir, and bring to a boil over low heat. Whip in the butter, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce with a fine mesh strainer and keep warm on the side. (If the sauce is too thick add a little water to thin it.)

To cook the paupiette of sea bass:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Add the paupiettes of sea bass and sauté until what we call “G.B.D.” ( GOLDEN BROWN AND DELICIOUS ). It should take about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Finally, finish cooking in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Presentation:

Place a bed of leeks in the middle of 4 warm serving plates and ladle the sauce around the leeks (about 2 tablespoons per plate). Place a paupiette of sea bass on top of the leeks and garnish with 1/2 sprig of thyme, or you can use chive batons. You can also sprinkle the plate with the minced chives if you like. Be as creative as you want. DONE SON!

BOOM. ENJOY!

-sauce