Pan Roasted Striped Bass

It’s getting hot in the kitchen. Last night we must have seen the temperature on the line exceed 120. Standing in front of the broiler, moving steaks from left to right, adding cheese to burgers, thumping the meat to test for done-ness, no experience in cooking that I’ve ever had has been quite so extreme. The fish station is not quite as hot, however it seems to get the lions share of our business. Striped bass is extremely popular, we’ve been serving it with asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, and grilled orange slices topped with citrus beuree blanc.

The same dish is finding success at The Little Kitchen. Just outside the back door my garlic has matured. Yesterday the buds popped open and their light purple seeds are now exposed. Ancient looking plants in the last phase of summer life, hard to believe we’re already ½ way through the season.

For Pan Roasted Striped Bass:

One  30 inch striped bass should yield 8 to 10 nice 5 oz pieces.

After removing the bones from fillets (leave skin on) cut an x on the skin side of each piece, be careful not to cut into the sides just score the center of each piece. When you are ready to begin cooking use a paper towel to dry the skin and then rub a tablespoon of soft butter on each filet. Set up a few saute pans on high flame and place the fish skin down in the pans, no more than 2 to each pan. Place in a 450 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

To prepare the beurre blanc:

Squeeze the juice from 2 navel oranges
Chop 4 shallots
Dice 1 small red pepper
¼ cup white wine
1 lb unsalted butter (cut into 10 pieces)

Combine shallots and orange juice in a sauce pan and stir over high heat, then add the wine, reduce by ½. Now turn the heat down to simmer and add butter slowly, stirring with a rubber spatula, add more butter as each piece melts and then, once all of the butter is melted, add the red pepper. Remove from heat and hold in a warm place.

Grill 1 bunch of blanched asparagus tossed in oil and 2 sliced oranges rubbed with oil.

Saute 3 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms with 2 chopped shallots, 3 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of herb and salt. When the mushrooms begin to get crisp over high flame it’s time to plate. Place a spoon full of mushrooms in the center of each plate and then top with 4 grilled asparagus pieces. Place 1 piece of fish on each plate and top with a slice of grilled orange then spoon the beuree blanc over the fish.

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