For the lemongrass sauce here, chef José Manuel Miguel softens the chopped inner bulb in butter with shallots and garlic, then moistens the mixture with wine, reducing it completely before simmering with fish stock (or a mix of clam broth and water) and finishing with a little cream. The result: a light, elegant restaurant dish that's so easy to make.
Slideshow: Sea Bass Recipes
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small shallots, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass (from 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender white inner bulbs only)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup clam broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 5-ounce sea bass fillets with skin
Thinly sliced mint leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the peas for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water. Wipe out the saucepan.
In the same saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallots, lemongrass and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook over moderately high heat until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the clam broth and water and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cream and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the sauce into a small saucepan, pressing hard on the solids, and season with salt and pepper.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Season the fish with salt. Add the fish to the skillet skin side down and cook over moderately high heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook until the fish is just white throughout, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the peas and warm over low heat; season with salt and pepper. Gently reheat the sauce. Spoon the sauce into plates or shallow bowls. Top with the peas and the fish. Sprinkle with the mint and serve.
The sauce can be refrigerated overnight.
Fragrant Sancerre from France's Loire will amplify the delicate flavors in this dish.
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