Ingredients (serves 4):
2 pounds Striped Bass
1/4 cup butter
1 cup wheat berries
1 cup organic brown rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup mixed chopped herbs
2/3 cup egg whites
This dish has supported our menu since the striped bass season opened on Long Island last July. The cakes are sometimes finished with mushrooms and truffle oil, sometimes sesame oil and sesame seeds, today with herbs from our garden, olive oil and egg whites.
Start by toasting 1 cup of wheat berries dry in a pan over medium heat, stirring for 10 minutes. Add 5 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt, cover and simmer for an hour. In another pan combine 1 cup of organic brown rice (rinsed in cool water) with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove both from heat, spread on separate cookie sheets and cool in the refrigerator.
Head to the garden and harvest a handful of parsley, half a handful of mint and some oregano. Clean and cut the herbs. When the wheat berry and rice have cooled off, mix all with oil and egg whites in a bowl, add the herbs and 1 tablespoon of salt and stir. Transfer to a cookie sheet and keep cool until service.
For the bass you should start with the freshest fish you can acquire, cut to 8oz. pieces, allow room temperature, preheat oven to 450ºF. Spread the scaled side with room temperature butter, place in a saute pan over high heat, butter side down. When the fish skin releases from the pan transfer it to the oven to finish for 8-10 minutes (depending on thickness, a thicker fillet will take longer).
As the fish cooks place pieces of the wheat berry and rice cakes (cut into circles or squares) in a slightly oiled pan over medium heat. As they start to brown flip and finish on side 2 (about 4 minutes each side).
Plate with sliced tomatoes or any colorful vegetables from the garden.