Thursday, May 2, 2013

Baked Sea Bass with Walnut-Breadcrumb Crust and Zucchini Carpaccio Salad

Here it is!  The last and final post from our dinner a few weeks back.  

For our main entree, we wanted something filling but light.  Since we didn't make the cauliflower soup ahead of time, we needed our stovetop free so we opted for a baked fish.  We picked up some super fresh sea bass filets from the Fisherman's Outlet downtown.  It's a restaurant as well as a seafood market.  Even though we had both just eaten lunch, the masses of people chowing down on some seriously delicious looking seafood made us hungry again.  And the long line snaking out the door further confirmed that this is the place for fresh seafood in downtown LA.  If you're just there for the market like we were, you can bypass the long line and head straight to the counter to order.

We had leftover crust and sauce, which we enjoyed with some baked chicken for a quick and easy weeknight meal.  

Zucchini Carpaccio Salad
(adapted from this recipe)

1 1/2 pound zucchini (about 3 large or 5 small zucchini)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound baby arugula (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of one Meyer lemon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut zucchini crosswise into paper-thin slices with Mandolin slicer (we used the 1/8" setting). Toss zucchini slices with one teaspoon salt in a large colander set over a bowl and let drain 20 minutes.  Rinse zucchini slices well, then drain, pressing gently on slices to extract any excess liquid. Pat zucchini slices dry with paper towels.

Whisk olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside.  Put arugula greens in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle with half of the lemon vinaigrette. Arrange zucchini slices over arugula greens, then drizzle with remaining dressing.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and top with freshly ground pepper.

Baked Sea Bass with Walnut-Breadcrumb Crust with Lemon Dill Sauce
(adapted from this recipe)

4 6-ounce sea bass fillets
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup walnuts (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 ounce)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
4 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Arrange fillets in prepared pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Mix breadcrumbs and walnuts in a food processor (we used a Magic Bullet). Using on/off turns, process until nuts are finely chopped (we recommend doing this in small batches). Transfer to bowl. Mix in melted butter, horseradish and mustard.  Stir in cheese and parsley. Gently press crumb mixture onto fillets. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each. Bake until fillets are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Adjust oven setting to broil.  Broil fish for about 2 minutes until crust is golden, watching closely to avoid burning. Transfer to plates and serve with Lemon-Dill Sauce.

Lemon Dill Sauce
(original recipe here)

3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Boil wine, shallot and lemon juice in medium saucepan over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking until melted before adding more. Remove from heat. Stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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