Wild Striped Bass with Leek Fondue
Sea bass gently cooked in butter and cream is served on a bed of vermouth-laced leeks. Caviar tops off the dish. Chef Telepan serves stuffed potatoes with the dish, mounding the potato filling over the tops of the baked potatoes. He uses vegetable stock to add depth to both the potato filling and the leeks.
- Crushed Carola Potatoes
- Carola Potatoes - 6 (alt. similar medium, firm, yellow potatoes such as Yukon Gold)
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Vegetable Stock - 1 tablespoon
- Butter Sauce
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Water - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2 pounds (8 sticks), softened
- Leek Fondue
- Leeks - 4 to 6, cleaned and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- Kosher salt - 2 pinches
- Unsalted Butter - 2 ounces (4 tablespoons)
- Vermouth - 1/2 cup
- Wild striped bass - Four 6 oz skinless fillets
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable Stock - 1/4 cup
- Chives - 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped
- Coarse sea salt - 4 pinches
- Osetra caviar - 1 oz
To prepare the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Slice the tops off of the 4 best-shaped potatoes and carefully scoop out the flesh. Peel the remaining 2 potatoes. Put all the potato flesh in a medium bowl, add the butter and stock, and crush with a potato masher, leaving coarse texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the skins and filling warm until ready to use.
To prepare the sauce: In a saucepan, bring the cream and water to a boil. Add the butter and whisk well until melted. Put the mixture in a blender (you could also use a stick blender) and run briefly to emulsify the sauce. Put the sauce back in the saucepan and place over low heat or in a low oven to keep warm, or, place over a pan of hot water.
To prepare the leeks: Place the chopped leeks in a bowl, sprinkle with kosher salt, and let sit for 10 minutes. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the leeks and slowly stew until tender, about 12 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until reduced by half. Season to taste. If not using immediately, spread on a large plate or platter and place in the refrigerator to chill.
To prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Put the butter sauce in a large heatproof saute pan or skillet over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the bass and bring back to a simmer. Cover and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and set aside; uncover.
To assemble: Rewarm the leeks in the vegetable stock and add 1/2 cup of the fish cooking butter to the leeks. Season and stir in the 1 tablespoon of chives. Mix the potato filling with the remaining 1 teaspoon of chives and fill the potato skins.
To serve: Divide the leek sauce between four warmed shallow bowls. Place a piece of fish on each and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Spoon caviar on top of each piece of fish, or make four small quenelles of caviar and place one on each piece of fish. Put the bowls on serving plates. Place a potato on the plate next to the fish.