Porcini Mushroom Crusted Sea Bass
“A perfect match, the porcini-mushroom crust compliments this buttery fish, which when seared seals in all its natural flavors. The porcini mushrooms, also called ce’pe in French, departs a rich-tasting, earthy, woodsy flavor with a rich, buttery perfume. The porcini crust is a perfect balance, which brings the sea bass down to earth,” says Albert A Bijou, Executive Chef at The Coffee Bar, a much-heralded Kosher restaurant in Lawrence, New York.
- 7 oz fillet of Chilean sea bass
- 6 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- 8 oz white mushroom — rinsed and sliced
- 8 oz portobello mushroom — gills removed and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp softened butter (can substitute with earths balance)
- 2 oz fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1 cup white unseasoned panko crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak dried porcini mushrooms in enough hot water to just cover when submerged — till softened. Place soaked mushrooms with its liquid, white mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Lower flame to a simmer, add butter, a tsp of salt & pepper — stir to incorporate butter and liquids with salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes on a low flame — watch to make sure the liquids do not evaporate all the way, add water if necessary.
- Remove from stove top, let cool to room temperature. Remove excess liquid and set aside. Place mushroom mixture in a food processor and blend till smooth, adding the liquid set aside as needed to keep it a smooth texture.
- Now add the freshly chopped basil and continue to process. Once all ingredients are blended well, add unseasoned panko crumbs — this will firm up the crust. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet with 1 tsp olive oil and sear the fish on both sides for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from stove top and coat top of fish with the mushroom mixture about 1/4 inch. Place in preheated 400º oven for 10 minutes until fish flakes.
- Fry thinly sliced leeks and place on top of crust.
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