The condiment queen strikes again… I have two words for this dish: Sauce. Galore. Okay, okay, maybe there’s more than that. Because there’s the fish, too, of course. Or we could always rename this dish to “Basil Pesto and Creamed Corn with a Side of Sea Bass”. Just kidding – I adore sea bass. It’s so light, delicate and succulent with a naturally buttery flavor. And who doesn’t love a natural butter flavor… Exactly. It’s simply melt-in-your-mouth tender – truly special occasion worthy. And the combination of basil pesto and creamed corn is divine: the pesto is savory and bright while the creamed corn really adds bits of sweet crunchy goodness to the fish. And my sous chef and I don’t make sea bass often, but when we do, it’s one of those dishes you just want to savor. It’s light enough for a summer dinner and elegant enough for a celebration (and quick enough for a weeknight, but shhhhh! That’s our little secret.). So, pour yourself a glass of crisp white wine, and let’s dig right in.
Chilean Sea Bass with Basil Pesto, Creamed Corn and Arugula:
(Serving Size: 4)
Sea Bass Fillets:
- Four 8 ounce fillets of chilean sea bass
- 5 oz. fresh arugula
- Juice of fresh lemon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Corn kernels removed from 1 ear of corn
- White and light green parts of a leek, cut diagonally and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Basil Pesto:
- 2 cups packed basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cut walnuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Let’s begin by removing our sea bass fillets from the refrigerator to help them achieve room temperature prior to cooking them. Next, let’s get started on our creamed corn because it’s going to take a few minutes to thicken up. So, mince the garlic and remove the corn from the cob; then, slice the white and light green part of the leek diagonally and then thinly slice across (see below):
Then, in a pan, heat your tablespoon of butter. Once hot, add the corn, leeks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Saute until the leaks have cooked down, then add your cream. Let the cream simmer on low until the mixture thickens (stirring every few minutes).
Meanwhile, we are going to make the gorgeous basil pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, walnuts, teaspoon of both salt and pepper and garlic.
Once you begin to puree the ingredients, slowly drizzle the 1/2 cup of olive oil into the food processor through the opening in the top to emulsify the pesto.
Once smooth, add the parmesan cheese and pulse again until just combined.
Set the pesto aside (and don’t forget to stir your creamed corn!).
Next, in a large saute pan heat your two tablespoons of olive oil and remaining tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Then, generously season your fillets with salt and pepper.
Let cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillets. While cooking, add a heaping mound of arugula to each plate. Then, drizzle with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This will serve as the base of our gorgeous fish.
Once 5-7 minutes has passed, flip the fish and repeat.
Plate over your bed of dressed arugula.
Top with your gorgeous basil pesto and creamed corn –
And as always, enjoy!
We served our delicious fish with the 2012 Sebastiani Sauvignon Blanc. With notes of lemongrass and melon, this crisp and refreshing wine is a perfect choice for our delicate chilean sea bass.