Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Silver Seabass - Basted Seabass With Cauliflower Puree and Sauvignon Apples and Prawn Oil

For the past few months, I have been experimenting and exploring various ways to cook a signature fish dish, and mixing different components and ingredients to attempt to achieve the perfect balance of flavors on a plate.

Well, I believe I have come to a point where I am reasonably satisfied to present my Silver Seabass dish. Reasonably, well, because I don't think I will ever be 100 percent happy as I will keep on trying new things on a plate.

What makes this particular dish great for me is the nice balance of buttery richness and sweet acidity. And also a nice touch of starch to bring everything together.

There are about 5 components on the plate, and I believe you should have enough, but not an overpowering amount of ingredients at the same time.

First, prepare the prawn oil by cooking about a dozen prawnheads in a saucepan until they are nicely caramelized and you can smell the intoxicating aroma of prawns. Add a large knob of butter to make the oil. Strain the oil and keep warm until usage.

For each plate, use only one prawn. Deshell the prawn and cut into 4 equal pieces. I only use grey prawns but you can use tiger prawns if you choose.

Season with some thyme or basil and pepper. Saute the prawn bits in a pan with olive oil for a few minutes and drain the excess oil on some paper towels. Set aside and keep warm.

Next, the cauliflower puree. Take about half of a cauliflower and break into small portions in a pot. Add enough milk until they almost cover all the cauliflower and bring the mixture to a boil.

Cook until the cauliflower is tender and soft and pour the contents into a blender. Blitz until it is a smooth puree and set aside.

Take a green apple and dice it into small cubes. Season with a little salt. In a saucepan, pour in half a cup of sauvignon wine and bring to a boil. Poach the apples for a few minutes until they are soft and quickly remove.

For the fish, simply season with salt and pepper and pan fry them skin side down in olive oil in a pan. When the fish is about half way cooked on one way, flip once only and bast the fish with a knob of butter for a few minutes more.

Let the fish rest in the pan as it will continue to cook for awhile more and the fish should be perfectly cooked. Always only flip the fish once and not more as the fish is flaky and you will break the flesh easily if you overflip it.

Finally, to plate the dish, apply the cauliflower puree first. Next place the diced apples to a side and add the prawns next to it.

Plate the fish gently one one side and apply some of the prawn oil in a nice pattern over the plate.

Lastly, garnish the plate with some pea sprouts to add some color and you will end up with a beautiful looking plate that is every bit as delicious as it looks.


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