RECIPE TITLE "Sea Bass Stuffed with Roasted Tomatoes"
Think Like A Chef
by Tom Colicchio. Copyright © 2000 by Tom Colicchio.
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serves 4 --- moderate
Here we tie roasted tomatoes between two sea bass fillets, and then pan roast. The tomato liquid is warmed and spooned over to make a simple sauce for the dish.
Stuffing roasted tomatoes in between sea bass fillets helps to infuse their flavor into the fish. Once the whole thing is bundled, season it on both sides and cook it like a single piece of fish. Cut the string off with scissors before serving.
For the fish:
4 (6-ounce) sea bass fillets, skin on
4 roasted tomato halves (see above)
8 bay leaves
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups roasted tomato juice (see above)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Preparing the fish. Place 2 fillets on a clean cutting board, skin-side down. Arrange the other fillets on top of them, skin-side up. Cut each fish bundle into 2 equal pieces (you should have 4 small bundles). Lift the top fillets and place a roasted tomato half, bay leaf, and thyme sprig on each bottom fillet. Season with salt and pepper, then re-cover. Place a bay leaf and a thyme sprig on top of each bundle, then tie each bundle together with 2 or 3 pieces of kitchen string.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season the fish with salt and pepper and cook, bay-leaf-side down, until the skin crisps, about 5 minutes. Turn the fish, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until the second side is crisp and the fish flakes easily, about 5 minutes more (thicker pieces will take a bit longer).
3. Making the sauce and assembling the dish. Warm the roasted tomato juice in a saucepan over low heat. Gradually whisk in the butter. Spoon the sauce onto 4 warm plates, place a fish bundle on each plate, and serve.
Think Like A Chef
With this book, Tom Colicchio, Chef at Craft and Gramercy Tavern, has set out not to record a restaurant menu but to entice you with the building blocks that are a cook's secrets. He starts with techniques-what is roasting, for example, and do you do it in an oven or on top of the stove? He also gets you comfortable with braising, sauteing, and making stocks and sauces. Next, he discusses useful ingredients-tomatoes for instance-and how to use them in a variety of ways. In a section called Trilogies, he takes three ingredients and puts them together to make one dish that's quick and then another that's a bit more complicated. In the final part of the book, Tom offers simple recipes for components that can be used in countless combinations. Written in Tom Colicchio's own warm and friendly voice, and illustrated with appealing, step-by-step photographs and glorious pictures of finished dishes, this book brings out the master chef in all of us.