Potato-Crusted Sea Bass with Poblano Purée – from My Local Fishmonger

Are you ready to hear the sound of your wheels slapping pavement!?  We are too!  Tired of being homebound?  Worried about your fellow humankind?  Yep.  Us too.  But in the meantime, I’ve been featuring a recipe along with one of my local food purveyors each week to keep you inspired, engaged in your local community and eating well until you’re on the road again.  This week’s local vendor is my amazing fishmonger, Sea Eagle Market!

This family-owned and operated gem is truly a boat-to-table joint!  Their incredibly fresh seafood and amazing customer service epitomize what life in the lowcountry is all about!  Tonight, I’m serving up one of my all-time favorite seafood recipes!  This Potato-Crusted Sea Bass with Poblano Purée, Steamed Carrots and Haricot Verts evolved from a regional dish I had years ago in Puerto Vallarta.  I’ve tweaked it into my own over the years and it’s become a family staple.  As luck would have it, I had a poblano in my garden, carrots, haricot verts and potatoes from two different local farmers in the fridge, and I picked up fresh-off-the-boat sea bass filets at Sea Eagle today.  Now all we have to do is get cooking.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

The Fish:

  • 4 Sea Bass Filets (~6 ounces each)
  • 2 Potatoes, Julienned Razor Thin (I use a mandolin)
  • 1 Jalapeno, Julienned Razor Thin (I actually use a hatch chile, but you can also substitute poblano is either are too spicy)
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Poblano Puree:

  • 2 Poblano Chiles
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ cup Half & Half or cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegetables:

  • 2 Carrots, peeled and cut into long strips
  • ½ lb. haricot verts or fresh green beans
  • Lemon

Instructions:

Once you have julienned and minced your potatoes, jalapeno, shallot, garlic and parsley, mix the ingredients together.  Thoroughly dry your fish then salt and pepper the filets to taste.  Set these aside while you prep the puree and vegetables.

Sauté the Poblano, Shallot, Garlic, Bay Leaves and Butter on low for five minutes.  Stir in cream and stir until it warms, about 1 minute.  Discard the bay leaves then transfer everything else to a blender and purée.  In the meantime, get a pan boiling with salted water and a steamer basket.  Steam your carrots and green beans for 4 minutes then empty contents into a colander and drizzle with lemon juice.

While all this is going down, add the butter to a skillet and heat to medium.  As the butter just starts to bubble, add a nice layer of the potato/pepper mixture to the pan.  Let it brown on one side for a couple minutes then stir.  Place the sea bass on top of the potato mixture and cook for 4 minutes.  Pour a circle of poblano purée on each plate and place the potato layer on top.  Sear the other side of the sea bass for 2 minutes.  Plate the sea bass on top of the potato mixture and add the vegetables alongside then drizzle generously with the remaining poblano purée.

You are welcome to use any kind of flaky white fish that’s available to you.  I love this dish with sea bass, but it does well with grouper, golden tile or even mahi mahi.  In the end, the final result looks worthy of a white table cloth dinner and the taste more than lives up to its looks.  If you’re searching for a wine pairing, reach for a Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre!), Gruner Veltliner or an unoaked, cool-climate Chardonnay like a Chablis.

Until next week, stay safe and bon appétit, y’all!

Ambyr Davis Greer