Everyone one loves a sea bass fillet dish in the summer. And even though winter is mercilessly closing in on us, we don’t want to give up the cosy summery warmth. So we decided to conjure it up through a proper fish dish, full of freshness and sweetness provided by homegrown carrots and sea bass fillet. One of those mysteriously happens to pop up in our fridge every once in a while. Just to give this dish an extra little twist, we employed a special cooking technique called sous vide.
Let’s take a look at our sea bass fillet recipe in video form
As always here is the video recipe for our sea bass fillet as made by us. Now if you feel confident and ready to cook, you can go and jump straight to the recipe.
What is sous vide and why does sea bass need it?
Sous vide is a method of cooking food in which we want to heat the food very slowly and at low temperatures, to preserve as much flavour and juices as possible. We achieve this, by packing it in a plastic pouch and sucking out all the air to create a vacuum. This tightly packed pouch of joy is then submerged in previously heated water. The temperature of the water must never exceed 90 degrees Celsius, because we want to slowly warm up the food, rather than cooking it through. The advantage of this technique is in the great amount of control over the process and constant temperatures. The finished item will be very evenly cooked and will preserve all the flavour and tenderness. This definitely holds true for our sea bass and also for the carrots which we pouched up with butter and threw into the gentle warm water bath.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with sous vide – it’s quite simple and yields perfects results
All this fancy french talk about cooking techniques may sound complex. But using them is actually pretty straight forward. When preparing sea bass, it will show tremendous gratitude, if you preserve it’s gentle flavour. To do this, we placed a beautiful fresh fillet of sea bass into a plastic pouch along with a pinch of green pepper and a splash of olive oil. Olive oil Morgan is our choice, as they always take excellent care of us. Next we sucked the air out with a vacuum machine and sealed the pouch. We repeated the process with homegrown carrots, but this time used butter instead of olive oil.
Time and temperature will vary with different ingredients
The sea bass was submerged in water heated to 50 degrees Celsius. We let it sit there for 25 minutes. For the carrots with butter, we raised the temperature to 85 degrees and let it cook for around 20 minutes. It’s always better to use homegrown carrots from the garden, if you have a chance to. If they smell and taste a bit earthy and minerally you know that you’re cooking with great quality carrots.
We wanted some extra colour, so we threw in a couple of yellow carrots as well. For precise control of the water temperature, we used our Anova sous vide cooker. If you don’t have a sous vide machine, you can try with a big pot of water. Use a digital thermometer to keep it in check.
The colour and sweetness of caramelised carrots will make you drool
While the carrots were relaxing in a nice hot bath, we heated up an iron skillet. We decided to put it straight on the hot embers leftover from grilling earlier. Because that’s how we roll. Of course, it’s perfectly fine if you just heat up a skillet on a stove. We then took the carrots out of the bag and dumped them – juices and all – into the skillet. We gave them a nice roasting in the skillet until they started to brown. Then we added our finely diced shallots and continued to caramelise them until the shallots got sweet and jammy. We then deglazed the pan with a splash of water which further softened our shallots.
Just before all the water evaporated we added a nice handful of chopped chives, gave it all a nice toss. We moved the vegetables to the side of the pan to make some room for our sea bass. We put the sea bass in the pan as gentle as we put our summer lovers into bed and then lightly seared the fish on both sides.
Let’s combine the sea bass and vegetables into our finished dish
Good food needs to look good as well. This is why we try to go the extra mile and make it look nice on the plate in the final plating of our recipe. We first put the sweet buttery carrots on the plate. They were glistening in the warm sun that day thanks to the buttery glaze. We put our sea bass on top of the carrots and finished the dish with our now sweet and caramelised shallots.
All of these ingredients came together in a colourful and summery plate that was full of gently sweet carrot flavours hugging a fish. An amazing, juicy and tender fish. The textures came together beautifully as well. The carrots were lightly crunchy and this was a refreshing contrast to the flaky fish. The combinig factor to all of this were the caramelised shallots. It brought a savoury sweetness that worked well with both the fish and carrots. It truly made this recipe a winner for us.
For best results try to get fresh sea bass and some homegrown vegetables
We always preach about getting fresh ingredients for the best results and most authentic flavour. And use homegrown vegetables if possible. For the fish, get in touch with your fishmonger Dave (or whatever his name may be) and he will make sure that you get the best possible fish.
“How the hell am I supposed to give you a falvour profile for a dish that I made 3 months ago?”Head chef Andrej’s reply when he was asked how the dish tasted…
This was our melancholic autumn ode to the summer of 2020. It was skillfully conducted by our good friend the sea bass fillet and the sweet and caramelised buttery carrots orchestra. We enjoyed this culinary symphony till the last bite. Now it is time for you to bring this Mediterranean recipe into your playbook.
If you’ll find yourself looking for more seaside themed inspiration you can take a look at our black tortellini in fish soup recipe. This seafood pasta recipe also sings a seaside song, but in a much more refined and delicate tone.
Bon Appetit from the Little kitchen, and until next time – let’s cook a little!