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Succulent sea bass is perfect for a dinner party or a celebration meal
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion or shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 250g (8oz) mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned, and large mushrooms, torn into smaller pieces
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
- 15g (½oz) dried porcini mushrooms
- 300ml (½ pint) red wine
- 150ml (¼ pint) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 rounded teaspoon cornflour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Oil for deep frying
- 3 large baking potatoes
- 4 x 350g (12oz) sea-bass fillets, skin on
- 15g (½oz) unsalted butter
- Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a medium pan and add the onion, or shallot. Cook gently for 3-4 mins until softened, then add a further 2tbsp of oil, the fresh mushrooms, and garlic, if using. Cook the mushrooms for 4-5 mins. Remove from the pan. Soak the dried porcini in a few tbsp of boiling water for a few minutes. Drain, roughly chop and then add them to the cooked mushrooms.
- Return empty pan to the heat, add the red wine, bring to the boil and reduce by half, then add the stock and reduce by half. Reduce heat.
- Mix the cornflour with 1-2tsp water and gradually stir into the sauce. Stir until the sauce thickens. Add seasoning to taste and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 160°C. Without peeling them, cut the potatoes into blocks measuring 7.5cm (3in) long. Cut lengths of potato 2cm (¾in) wide. You will need 16. Blanch the potato pieces for 1-2 mins and remove. Turn the deep-fat fryer up to 190°C.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Season the sea bass fillets, place them skin-side down in pan and cook for 3-4 mins. Turn them over and cook for a further 3-4 mins, until cooked through.
- While the fish is cooking, fry the potatoes for 3-4 mins, until golden.
- Gently reheat the sauce and whisk in the butter, off the heat. Reheat the mushrooms.
- Arrange potatoes stacked 2 on top of each other at a 90° angle.Drizzle a little of the sauce over the mushrooms and serve with fish.