Pan Roasted Sea Bass

A decadent, rich dish featuring sea bass, potatoes, mushrooms, and crab butter. Created by chefs from Wente Vineyards, a fifth-generation family-owned winery in operation since 1883, this recipe pairs beautifully with Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pan Roasted Sea Bass

Ingredients

Sea Bass:
(4) 4 oz. portions sea bass, skin on
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)

Potatoes:
8 medium fingerling potatoes
(cut in half lengthwise)
2 oz. melted duck fat
1 tsp. thyme, minced
salt to taste

Mushrooms:
6 oz. king trumpet mushrooms
(cut into quarters lengthwise)
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
(or other neutral oil)
1 tsp. thyme, minced
salt to taste

Cabernet Jus:
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
6 oz. aged beef scraps
½ cup red onion, large dice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
8 cloves garlic, halved
3 cups Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet
8 cups veal stock
1 fresh bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
1 tsp. whole black pepper

Crab Butter:
4 oz. Phillips Special Crab Meat
½ tsp. thyme, minced
¼ lb. unsalted butter, softened for half hour
½ tsp. oregano, minced
1 oz. Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

  • Prepare Cabernet Jus: Heat oil in a wide sauce pan until it just starts to smoke. Add the aged beef scraps and let cook, stirring every couple of minutes until evenly browned (about 10-12 minutes).
  • Add the red onion and continue stirring every couple of minutes until onions start to caramelize.
    Add the tomato paste and garlic. Pour in the Cabernet and allow to reduce by 2/3.
  • Add the veal stock, bay leaf, thyme and black pepper. Reduce the heat and bring the sauce down slowly to 1/3 its original volume. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and skim any remaining fat off the top.
  • Prepare Crab Butter: Combine the crab, butter, Cabernet and herbs in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Using the paddle attachment, blend the butter at medium speed until fully incorporated.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Place compound butter in refrigerator until needed.
  • Prepare Potatoes: Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine potatoes, duck fat, thyme and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir until potatoes are evenly coated.
  • Lay the potatoes on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast in the oven at 425°F until tender and caramelized.
  • Prepare Mushrooms: Combine mushrooms, oil, thyme and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss until mushrooms are evenly coated. Spread mushrooms evenly on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast in the oven at 425°F until well caramelized.
  • Prepare Fish: Liberally season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large sauté pan until the oil barely begins to smoke. Cook the fish flesh side down for 2 minutes, then flip and gently press to make the skin lay flat.
  • Cook for about 1 minute, then place the pan in the oven and let cook at 425°F for 3 to 5 additional minutes or until fish is firm to the touch.
  • Remove fish from the pan and let drain on a napkin.
  • Service: Place 4 potato halves in the center of each plate. Top with a small mound of roasted trumpet mushrooms. Lean the fish against the mushrooms and top with a small amount of the crab compound butter. Drizzle the cabernet jus around the plate.

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