Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com
So I had leftover bordelaise from last Sunday’s SRF ribeye dinner. What to do? So I looked about the web and came across Jennifer Che’s visit to Per Se –
As I was looking through her report of the lunch there, I noticed the striped bass course with the bordelaise (see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42386169@N02/4524592625/) and thought, “Maybe I can make something like that for Tuesday night supper……”. So on the way home Tuesday night, I stopped off at Whole Foods, Newtonville, MA to get get asparagus, fingerling potatoes and some striped bass. The fingerlings I washed and peeled and boiled for about 7 minutes. The asparagus got cleaned and blanched for about 5 minutes.
Chef Keller mentions several things regarding the preparations of the fish. First off, he uses white pepper with fish because “…(black) pepper on fish can be overwhelming (I’ll use white, if any)…” (The French Laundry Cookbook, p. 180). Secondly, in preparing the fish for crisping it skin, he writes that he’d, “…take the blade of a knife and drag it over the skin, pressing down firmly but gently to force the water to the surface, then pulling the knife back over the skin to squeegee off the water…repeat..until you’ve gotten as much water out of the..skin as possible…” (The French Laundry Cookbook, p. 147).
I portioned out the striped bass and wiped it dry as I could (using a similar method with a kitchen paper towel – something I saw Iron Chef Morimoto do during his fish battles). For the non-skin sides of the fish, I seasoned with 4:1 salt/WHITE pepper mix and the seasoned the dried skin-side with salt – in fact this is pretty much how Chef Keller prepares his Pan-Roasted Striped Bass (The French Laundry Cookbook, p. 152). And so like the recipe, I placed the prepared fish, skin side down in my wok with some grapeseed oil at medium heat for about 3 minutes, then ‘kiss’-seared all the other sides, then let it cook on a non-skin side for about minute and then took it out to let it rest while I prepared a bed of asparagus, 2 fingerling potatoes and 2 more ounces of the bordelaise sauce. That was my wife’s portion (by her request). My portion being somewhat a little larger, took a little longer to cook; but I did the same 3 minute crisp of the fish skin, then seared all the rest of the sides and then cooked it on the reverse side for about another 3 minutes or so.
So dinner was served starting with a Tomato Salad, Ron Siegel-style, followed by the Crisp Skin Striped Bass With Sauce Bordelaise and a nice crusty baguette. My wife was pleasantly surprised how well the fish paired with the bordelaise sauce. Definitely a nice way to end the day.