Pan Fried Sea Bass, Crushed New Potatoes and Spicy Piquant Sauce

pan fried sea bass
Copyright: goodbuka

Pan fried sea bass is a great way to serve this fish and as with many pan fried fillets it always seems to work well on a bed of crushed new potatoes flavoured with parsley, thyme or mint. A powerful sauce is advisable here so this one is accompanied with a piquant sauce of tomato and chili sauce, and a side of fine green beans. An olive oil vinaigrette would also be a nice addition.

With the panfrying of the sea bass comes a requirement almost to produce fabulous crispy skin. It’s also easier to manage because you can tell when the flesh becomes delicate and flaky. It is the ideal method for cooking a sea bass fillet. The approach we use here is very similar to pan-frying cod.

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Serves 2; Preparation time: 60 minutes to get all the veg. and fish prepped;  Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Equipment:

Ingredients For The Pan Fried Sea Fish:

  • 2 sea bass, filleted, skin on.
  • a splash of olive oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients For the Crushed New Potatoes with Olive Oil Vinaigrette:

  • 500g Jersey royals or other new potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter
  • 1/2 lemon – juice only 
  • 100g chives, sliced finely. Leave a few unsliced for the garnish.
  • 8 black olives – chop in half and then crushed. Leave one or two aside for the garnish.
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped

Ingredients For The Piquant Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white or red onion, finely sliced and then chopped up
  • ½ – 1 red pepper, sliced and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 10 green olives – chop in half.
  • 150g/5½oz small tomatoes, with the skins removed
  • ½ tsp dried chili flakes
  • a handful of green beans, trimmed – enough for two.

Preparation:

  1. Begin by cooking the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 15 minutes until completely cooked through. No need to peel these potatoes but some do like these without skins.
  2. The sauce is then started ahead of time by placing a frying pan or skillet over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes to soften the onion.
  3. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and chilli flakes and continue to cook for five more minutes. Use a potato masher to break up the pieces and mix them all together. It only needs to be roughly done.  Set aside in a covered saucepan for reheating later.
  4. Splash the frying pan or skillet with some olive oil. Start heating on a medium level.
  5. Once the pan is hot, season the sea bass with salt and place it in the pan skin-side down, if the skin has been left on the fish.
  6. Cook for 2 to3 minutes until the skin is starting to brown and turn golden and crisp. If you are cooking skinless sea bass, cook until the fish has turned a nice golden colour.
  7. With the potatoes, drain and tip into a bowl, and crush with the olive oil until broken but not mashed. Stir through the chives, lemon juice and the parsley with the crushed olives, then season to taste. 
  8. Warm the sauce in a sauce pan over a low heat but do not boil.
  9. To a separate pan of boiling water, add the green beans and boil for a few minutes until just tender. As these are cooking, return to the cod.
  10. Carefully turn the cod over and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet or loin. The fish is cooked when the flesh becomes opaque. It should also flake well when plated up.
  11. On a plate, add a couple of spoonfuls of crushed potato to form a bed then place a fillet or two on top.
  12. Add the sauce either over the top or to the side of the fish.
  13. Serve with a side of trimmed green beans, any remaining black olives and few strands of unchopped chives if you have them as a garnish. Have some freshly made olive oil vinaigrette available too if desired.
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