Pan-Seared Black Sea Bass with Endives and Grapes
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 10 first-course servings
For the FourCoursemen dinners (as well as his restaurant, Farm 255), chef Matt Palmerlee loves to use sustainable seafood like the line-caught sea bass here. He sometimes makes the dish with Muscadine grapes, a sweeter, more complex fruit from the American South.
- 10 ounces sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 10 Belgian endives, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Ten 3-ounce, skin-on black sea bass, black cod or sablefish fillets
- 1 cup seedless red grapes
- In a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels. Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of the fat.
- Add the endives to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the endives to a bowl and keep warm. Wipe out the skillet.
- Heat the vegetable oil in each of 2 large nonstick skillets. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add the fillets to the skillets, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the flesh is just white throughout, 2 minutes longer. Add the grapes to the skillets and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Transfer the fish and grapes to the plates on top of the endives and serve.
Nancy Palmer, a member of The FourCoursemen supper club and former wine consultant, paired this luscious dish with a crisp Loire Valley white wine. Rich fish like this sea bass work well with minerally whites, but they can also stand up to light-bodied reds, for instance, a cru Beaujolais.