Oh You Fancy: Chilean Sea Bass with Bell Pepper Sauce

Finally. I finally have a moment to sit down and share a recipe with y’all. Honestly, why is graduate school so time-consuming. Sheeeeesh.

This dish is a throwback to when me and my boyfriend actually had a life and time to cook (read: before our thesis projects starting taking over our lives). I’m hoping that in the next week or two we’ll have the time to relax, unwind, and eat our feelings, but in the mean time… I’m gonna think about the “good ole days” aka two weeks ago.

This recipe is from our favorite cursing, angry, British chef: Gordon Ramsay. Known for his “colorful” language and crazed antics on Hell’s Kitchen, he has quickly become one of Parker’s and my favorite celebrity chefs. We’ve been to several of his restaurants so far (life goal: visit them all!), my favorite of which was either his stellar restaurant Burgr or Ramsay’s Pub & Grill — both located in Vegas.

So in an effort to cook up some fancy food and challenge ourselves a little bit, we looked up one of his recipes and this is the one we chose! And I have to say, it was an overwhelming success.

…well, minus the fact that my stove vent got blocked up and we almost smoked out my entire apartment when we started cooking the fish, but that’s beside the point.

In case you want fancy video instructions, Gordon Ramsay actually made this recipe one of television shows. You can cook alongside him — and feel like a total amateur — here:

Also, some things Parker and I learned cooking this…

  1. That skin is tough as hell to score. Best of luck! We ended up using a serrated knife, which hacked it to hell but luckily you serve it skin side down, so it still looks pretty!
  2. Star Anise is nearly impossible to find in a grocery store. You can substitute it with Chinese Spice Mixtures (it has the star anise in it), but don’t use a lot of it because it can be remarkably overpowering. The sauce tastes just as good without them, so don’t fret if you can’t find it!
  3. A nutribullet is a beautiful substitute for a real blender.

Chilean Sea Bass with Bell Pepper Sauce: Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Filets of Sea Bass
  • Bell Pepper – 1 large red and 1 large yellow, or several of both
  • Shallots – 3
  • Star Anise – 3
  • White Wine Vinegar – 1 1/2 Tbs
  • Vermouth – 2 Tbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Thyme Sprig leaves
  • Salt
  • Fresh Basil – 1 very large sprig, or two smaller ones
  • Water

Directions for the Sauce:

  •  Julienne the bell pepper, do the same with the shallots.
  • Heat olive oil in a hot pan, then add the peppers and shallots, add star anise and a pinch of salt.
  • Stir well and cook for several minutes until the peppers are beginning to soften up.
  • Add the basil whole, and pour in the white wine vinegar and vermouth.
  • Reduce for several minutes over moderate heat until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  • Add enough water to the pan to cover the peppers half way.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer until liquid is about half gone.
  • Carefully add all of the ingredients to a blender and liquify.
  • Be sure to hold the lid on the blender.

Directions for the Fish:

  • Lay the fish on a cutting board skin side up. Score the fish every half inch along the length of the filet. Add salt and thyme leaves to the inside of each score, then drizzle with olive oil. You can now lovingly hold and caress the filet in your hands if you’re as crazy as Chef Ramsay about food, if not, you can skip the caressing.
  • Heat olive oil in a hot pan and add the fish, skin side down. Hold the fishdown with your fingers for 30 seconds to prevent curling. Ninety percent of the cooking will take place with the skin side down. Watch the fish and turn it when most of the meat has turned a bright white. Finish up cooking and remove from heat.

Serving Instructions:

  • Pour the sauce onto a plate with a large enough lip to hold the sauce – fill the bottom of the plate. Add cooked Sea Bass, skin side up. Drizzle olive into the sauce circling the fish. DONE.

The sea bass practically falls apart in your mouth, and the spices in the bell pepper sauce are the perfectly compliment. While my wallet wasn’t too happy with the cost of sea bass, my stomach prevailed — I would make this again in a heart beat!

Best of luck with your fancy foodie endeavors! It’s an exciting feeling being able to cook something so darn pretty. I’m off to Cane’s for drive-thru chicken becauseeee #gradschool. Til next time, happy eating!

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