Sea Bass with Piquillo Sauce and Jerusalem Artichokes
We love the vibrant colour, flavour and textural combinations in this Anglo-Spanish fusion dish. Wild sea bass is much superior to the farmed variety and should be sought out where possible. Dry the fish thoroughly with kitchen paper before cooking, to help prevent it sticking to the pan.
|Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|2||large shallots, peeled and diced|
|1½||garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped|
|2||bay leaves, fresh if possible|
|1 x 390g||tin or jar of piquillo peppers, drained|
|1 tbsp||caster sugar|
|12||fresh sage leaves|
|4 fillets||of wild sea bass (about 180–200g each)|
You will need a blender or food processor.
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cook in plenty of salted boiling water until tender – about 30 minutes. Drain, allow to cool, then cut in half lengthways and set aside.
Heat 25ml of the oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the shallots, garlic and bay leaves and gently fry for about 5 minutes, until just translucent. Finely slice the piquillo peppers and add to the pan with the caster sugar. Stir well. Add the manzanilla and 125ml of water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Put into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat 75ml of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and brown the Jerusalem artichokes on all sides. Add the sage leaves and season well.
While the artichokes are browning, score the skin of the sea bass every 0.5cm or so, taking care not to score all the way to the edge of the fish. Heat the remaining 25ml of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, non-stick frying pan until smoking and fry the sea bass, skin side down, for about 6 minutes. Season well, then carefully turn the fish and fry on the other side for another 2 minutes, seasoning again.
Serve the fish as soon as it is ready, with the piquillo sauce and Jerusalem artichokes.