Succulent sea bass is perfect for a dinner party or a celebration meal
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion or shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 250g (8oz) mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned, and large mushrooms, torn into smaller pieces
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
- 15g (½oz) dried porcini mushrooms
- 300ml (½ pint) red wine
- 150ml (¼ pint) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 rounded teaspoon cornflour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Oil for deep frying
- 3 large baking potatoes
- 4 x 350g (12oz) sea-bass fillets, skin on
- 15g (½oz) unsalted butter
Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a medium pan and add the onion, or shallot. Cook gently for 3-4 mins until softened, then add a further 2tbsp of oil, the fresh mushrooms, and garlic, if using. Cook the mushrooms for 4-5 mins. Remove from the pan. Soak the dried porcini in a few tbsp of boiling water for a few minutes. Drain, roughly chop and then add them to the cooked mushrooms.
Return empty pan to the heat, add the red wine, bring to the boil and reduce by half, then add the stock and reduce by half. Reduce heat.
Mix the cornflour with 1-2tsp water and gradually stir into the sauce. Stir until the sauce thickens. Add seasoning to taste and set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 160°C. Without peeling them, cut the potatoes into blocks measuring 7.5cm (3in) long. Cut lengths of potato 2cm (¾in) wide. You will need 16. Blanch the potato pieces for 1-2 mins and remove. Turn the deep-fat fryer up to 190°C.
Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Season the sea bass fillets, place them skin-side down in pan and cook for 3-4 mins. Turn them over and cook for a further 3-4 mins, until cooked through.
While the fish is cooking, fry the potatoes for 3-4 mins, until golden.
Gently reheat the sauce and whisk in the butter, off the heat. Reheat the mushrooms.
Arrange potatoes stacked 2 on top of each other at a 90° angle.Drizzle a little of the sauce over the mushrooms and serve with fish.