Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miso-Marinated Fish with Beurre Blanc

Miso-Marinated Fish with Beurre Blanc
Serves: 6

Miso-Marinated Fish with Beurre Blanc
This is one fabulous and memorable entrĂ©e, especially with sea bass. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to find sustainable sea bass in my local fish market. Chilean Sea bass is a slow-growing, deep-water fish that reproduces late in life – traits that make it vulnerable to overfishing. In addition, fishing methods used cause more problems: bottom trawling can damage seafloor habitat as well as trap seabirds and other fish. For these reasons, most Chilean Sea bass should be avoided. This time I chose Halibut – a worthy substitute. Others include: Wild caught Black Sea bass, White Sea bass, Black Cod, Butterfish & Barramundi. 
If you live on the West Coast - IT IS WHITE SEA BASS SEASON NOW!!!!!(summer)  Go get some; try this recipe - you will not be disappointed.
Key to success is great ingredients: Fresh halibut
 Earlier I posted a recipe (Miso Clam Chowder – May, 2012) and committed to share other recipes featuring miso on the assumption you now had it available in your refrigerator. Miso, a traditional Japanese food, is made from fermented soybeans. Due to its surging popularity, you can now find it in your local grocer – look in refrigerator section.

  • 1 C Mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • ¾ C white miso
  • ½ C sake
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 6 - 5 to 6 ounce fish fillets (each about 1 inch thick)
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • ¼ chopped shallots
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 C whipping cream
  • 5 Tb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tb fresh lemon juice
  • Chives or parsley for garnish

Whisk together 1 C Mirin, ¾ C white miso, ½ C sake and ¼ C sugar in a large glass baking dish – large enough to hold the marinade and all fish. Add 6 fish fillets, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours – no more than 3 hours.
Marinade for the fish
Mix 1 C dry white wine in a saucepan with ¼ C chopped shallots, 6 minced garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf and ½ tsp of whole black peppercorns.  Bring to a boil – until it is reduced to ¾ C, about 8 minutes.  Add 1 C whipping cream and boil until it is reduced to 1 C, about 7 minutes. Strain mixture into a medium saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Toss the solids. Place medium saucepan with strained sauce over low heat and add 1 Tb butter at a time, whisking after each addition, until melted before adding more – continue until all 5 Tb have been added. Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in 2 Tb fresh lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm until fish is ready.
Shallots, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper corns

Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Lightly spray with oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Remove fish from the marinade and transfer to baking sheet. Bake until almost opaque in center, about 10 min for sea bass, 8 min for halibut. Preheat broiler. Broil fish until well browned on top and opaque in center, watching closely to avoid burning, about 3 minutes.  Transfer fish to plates, spoon sauce around.  Garnish with chopped chives or parsley.

Serve with White Burgundy, Pinot Grigio, Chablis or a low-oak Chardonnay.  The only red wine I would consider would be Pinot Noir – lightly chilled.



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