December 18th, 2010

Food pilgrimages are part of my religion and none provide enlightenment like the great markets of Austria, Italy and France, but that’s a bit of a trek this time of year.  We’ve decided to serve Prime Rib for Christmas dinner, which is a simple enough decision, save for the fact that we can’t get a proper one up here in the boondocks.

Several business meetings last week required me to travel to the Boston area, and at the suggestion of the man who came to dinner and never left, I stopped in at McKinnon’s Market in Salem, New Hampshire with hopes of finding something resembling prime Angus beef.

Oh, Lord have mercy on me, for this cannot be I, was my first reaction to seeing counter after counter of beautifully cut meats, the freshest seafood imaginable, and a cheese section that represented the entire world.  I excitedly ordered a Prime Rib Roast, to be trimmed to my exacting specification, for pick-up on the Tuesday before Christmas.

During the three days of subsequent meetings, I couldn’t shake the vision of McKinnon’s bounty dancing in my head, so on the return trip home I popped in once again for some wild sea bass, some brilliantly fresh vegetables and an array of exotic cheeses and with great delight and a small prayer of thanks did we devour pan roasted sea bass, a rare treat indeed, that very same night.

Pan Roasted Sea Bass

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Pan Roasted Sea Bass

A fairly standard technique that works beautifully with any good-sized fish filet.

For four servings:

  • 4 sea bass fillets, 8 ounces each, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season fish filets with salt and pepper.  Heat butter and olive oil in an ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Sear filet on first side for 4-5 minutes or until browned.  Turn fish and cook for 2-3 more minutes.  Place skillet in the oven and roast fish for up to 10 minutes (subject to thickness of fillets).

Serve immediately on warm plates and pour any pan juices on top of each filet.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.