Seared Sea Bass with Caribbean Fruit Chutney
Ginger-scented chutney made with citrus and tropical fruit is used as a bed for sea bass fillets which are pan-grilled, then finished in the oven. A reduction sauce is made from pan drippings, wine, and stock. The dish is garnished with sauteed vegetables and star fruit. The tropical chutney and sauteed vegetables would also be wonderful with grilled pork.
- Caribbean Fruit Chutney
- Orange - 1
- Limes - 2
- Pink grapefruits - 1
- Mango - 1/4 cup, diced
- Pineapple - 1/4 cup, diced
- Papaya - 1/4 cup, diced
- Lemon Juice - 1 lemon for juice if necessary
- Fresh Ginger - 1/4 ounce, peeled and sliced thin
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Cardamom pods - 10
- Sea Bass Fillets - four, 6-ounce
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Soft unsalted butter - 2 tablespoons
- Dry Red Wine - 1/2 cup
- Veal Stock - 1/2 cup
- Cold Unsalted butter - 2 tablespoons
- Baby Zucchini - 12 to 16
- Flour - for dusting
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Pearl Onions - 1/2 pint, steamed and peeled
- Baby Leeks - 8, steamed
- Fingerling Potatoes - 8, boiled for 5 minutes and drained
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Star Fruit - 1, sliced thin
- Thyme Sprigs - 16
To prepare the chutney: Peel the citrus fruit. Working over a bowl to reserve all juices during this process, separate the segments from the membranes and cut into small pieces. Put the citrus fruit in a small strainer and let any juice run into the bowl. Add more lemon juice if necessary to make 1/2 cup of juice. Combine the citrus juice with the sugar and fresh ginger in a small pan and cook over medium heat until the juice is reduced to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and add the citrus segments and cardamom. Set aside and let cool.
To prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub with the soft butter. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the fillets for 1 minute on each side; remove from skillet and place on a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness, until the fish flakes easily and is opaque throughout. Keep warm.
Put the wine in the pan in which the fish was cooked and stir up the browned bits from the bottom. Add the veal stock, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until reduced by one-fourth in volume. Swirl in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Set aside and keep warm over very warm water.
To prepare the garnish: Slice the zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips on a mandoline or V-slicer. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Dredge the slices in flour, spank off the excess, and slip a few at a time into the hot oil. Fry until lightly browned and crisp, about 1 minute; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Do not crowd the pan; fry a few at a time in batches, letting the oil return to temperature between each batch.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Slice the pearl onions, baby leeks, and potatoes in half lengthwise. Saute the vegetables until heated through. Add the star fruit slices and saute 30 seconds. Season to taste.
To serve: Spoon chutney in the center of each plate. Place a fish fillet on top of each. Spoon the sauce around the chutney and fish. Place vegetables and star fruit around the chutney. Garnish with thyme sprigs.