Zach and I knew that we wanted fish last night, but that was about all that we knew. We played things a little differently yesterday and decided to just wing it: we would figure out what we were making once we got to the grocery store. The first step was to find the perfect filets. We haven’t had just plain old fish filets in a while and decided to give it a go. We saw some striped bass (skin on) filets that we just couldn’t pass up, and the rest was history. We kept it simple only topping the fish with a fresh mango salsa and laid it atop a shallot, white wine reduction. It was perfect. I could feel myself getting healthier by the minute! Fish doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is a couple added touches and you can really have yourself a great, yet simple weeknight meal.
Striped bass is one of the few fish I am absolutely in love with. Sure I love my fair share of shell fish. I love trout, and sea bass, and halibut too, but you may find it strange that I absolutely despise salmon. Maybe it’s because every piece of salmon I’ve ever had has turned me away. Maybe it was the way it was prepared. I really don’t know, but I just can not get my head around the “fishiness” of it. I’ve maybe had it prepared once or twice where I actually enjoyed it. I truly wish I did love it. Zach loves it. Actually it’s one of the few things Zach likes, that I don’t. Weird, right? It’s always so pretty and it’s full of essential vitamins and nutrients, but I just can’t do it. I’ve tried, but I just can’t. So anytime we ever buy fish it’s an “unfishy” tasting fish. Striped bass swims right down that alley. I love bass. I especially love bass with the skin on. There is really no other way to eat it. It gets so crispy that it really tastes like bacon! Delish I tell ya!
For those of you who don’t delve into the art of cooking fish very often it can sometimes be daunting, but there is a very easy solution if you are cooking fish with skin on the stove top. It’s simple really and it all starts with a really great stainless steal skillet. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan-trust me) and lay the fish skin side down. Then…just leave it alone. Don’t touch it. Don’t flip it. You can look at it, because you don’t want it to burn, but keep your hands off! About 5-6 minutes later you will see the skin start to lift from the pan and only then is it ready to flip. This is important to pay close attention to. There is a fine line between the skin releasing from the pan and it burning to a pulp. The result is so magnificent though and it’s such a useful trick of the trade!
Have you ever been told that fish goes great with a really good glass of white wine? Well these people aren’t lying to you. It’s 100% true. Of course we were craving a glass of white wine with this meal, but this isn’t what our blog is about. We of course like to pair our dishes with beer, and what better beer to pair with than one that has been aged in chardonnay barrels. Russian River’s Sour Blonde Ale: Temptation is the perfect beer for the job. It’s light and crisp, but has that wonderful hint of chardonnay. You really can’t go wrong and it’s absolutely delicious with this meal. Russian River is always solid. I really don’t think they can do anything wrong. Can you tell we have a little bit of an obsession with them?
Any-who, we are yet again preparing for a large winter storm. I hope the forecasts hold true once again and they dump a ton of snow on us this week. We sure could use it! Enjoy the rest of your week everyone! See you on Saturday!
- 1 large mango, skin removed and diced
- 2 fresno peppers, seeds and stem removed and finely minced
- juice from 1 lime
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot (or 2-3 smaller ones), chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups white wine
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 4 - 1/2 lb striped bass filets, with the skin
- In a small bowl, combine the mango, fresno peppers, lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro. Mix to combine, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the white wine sauce, heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Saute shallot with salt and pepper for 8-10 minutes or until starting to brown slightly. Turn down heat to low and add garlic and continue to cook until the shallot is completely cooked and translucent. Add 1 cup wine and reduce by half. Put in blender and pulverize (literally). Pour puree back into the pan and add the remainder of the white wine. Over low-medium heat, let simmer until it thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Serve immediately.
- While your sauce is simmering, start preparing your fish. Lightly season both sides of the filets. In a hot skillet add 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay the fish skin side down and do not touch it. Let cook for 5-6 minutes or until the fish releases itself from the pan. Flip the fish, turn off the heat, and cover. Let the fish continue to cook for 3-4 minutes before serving.
- Serve the fish on top of the sauce and top with the salsa.
Hardware: * Blender * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Skillet with Lid * Saute Pan * Bowls * Whisk * Heavy Wooden Spoon * Fish Spatula * Airtight Container *