Eat, Pray, And Get Some Lovin': A Cook's Guide To The Ladies, Nov. 9: Braised Chilean Sea Bass

Each week, we’ll publish an idiot-proof recipe that’ll score you some ‘tang. In return, you’ll send us pictures of the classy ladies (which we’ll post) and let us know how you did. Note that this section is not for more accomplished chefs, but for morons who just want to convince ladies that they are accomplished chefs. Expect us to talk down to you.

For an overview of Eat, Pray, and Get Some Lovin', go here.

Step 1: Trick a young lady into coming to your abode.

Method of the week:
Step 2: Buy and prep ingredients.

Today, we’ll need the following ingredients:

Olive Oil
2 Chilean Sea Bass filets.

-You can use any firm, white fish here (i.e. not salmon). Ask the fishmonger at your local seafood store, or try Whole Foods for a good (if expensive) selection.
-Filets should be about 1” thick – buy enough to serve two people.

-Generally, they come with the skin on – this is a good thing.

-Pat the fish to check for pin bones; remove any you find.

-Buying Tip: Smell the fish before purchasing – fresh fish should smell clean and slightly salty, not fishy.

2 Yellow Onions

-Fist size, or a bit larger.
-Slice one onion into thin, ¼” strips.

1 Fennel Bulb

-Cut off the fronds and use the white part at the bottom.
-Roughly chop.

1 Leek

-Split down the middle and make sure to rinse thoroughly, as leeks can be dirty.
-Roughly chop.

Sugar Snap Peas

-In pod, about a handful.
4 Carrots

-Peel and slice into discs.
2 Stalks Celery

-Roughly chop one stalk, thinly slice the other.

-These look like long, very thin green onions.
1 Bay Leaf

-These come dried.
2 sprigs Fresh Thyme

-You can substitute dried thyme. A generous pinch should be sufficient.
½ Lemon.

1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar

-Very inexpensive; almost any brand will be fine.
1 cup White Wine

-Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are both fine choices here. Spend at least $10, and serve remainder with dinner.
1 cup Water.

10-15 Whole Peppercorns

-If you have a pepper grinder, just remove a few from there.
Salt and Pepper

Step 3: Cook

1. PAN ONE: Add thinly sliced onion and half of carrots to a sauté pan over extremely low heat (about a 2 on your stove). Season generously with salt (a large pinch). Cook for 25 minutes. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add sliced celery and snap peas, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

2. PAN TWO: Meanwhile, add roughly chopped onion, fennel, leek, carrots, and celery to a dutch oven or extremely large saucepan. Add water, wine, and vinegar. Add peppercorns, thyme, and a good-sized pinch of salt. Simmer (barely boil) over medium heat for 25 minutes. Don’t be afraid to turn the heat down to keep the contents from boiling too strongly. When finished, strain liquid into a bowl (i.e remove vegetables). You should have about 1.5 cups of liquid.

3. PAN THREE: Pat the sea bass filets dry. Season both sides (skin side and fish side) generously with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbs. of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and heat skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add both filets skin side down. Press down on them with a spatula to make sure the skin cooks. After 2 minutes, check the skin for doneness; if it is not done, continue to cook until it is. Skin is done when it is golden brown and crispy to the touch (remember, you are not cooking the fish to completion here, just crisping the skin). Remove filets to a plate. Note: This can be done as much as an hour before starting Pan One and Pan Two.

4. PAN FOUR: Use a large skillet or sauté pan. Add the liquid from Pan Two, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add fish, skin side up. Add vegetables from Pan One. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove fish to serving dishes (plates or a platter) skin side up (you want to keep the crispy skin dry). Squeeze lemon juice into sauce/vegetable mixture. Add 2 tbs. olive oil. Stir, and taste – add salt and pepper to your taste. Pour sauce and vegetables around fish and serve.

Step 4:

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