Striped Bass Poached in Olive Oil

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This wasn’t quick, but MAN was it good! I’d never cooked striped bass before (and honestly don’t have much experience cooking fish in general), but I saw it at the fish counter and was intrigued. We had all the ingredients at home for this Greek-inspired recipe; definitely worth a try. Just make sure you have a vat of EVOO.

4 pieces stripped bass, 4 ounces each, skin on
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 lemon, scrubbed
2 cups olive oil, plus ½ cup more, as necessary
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (about 6 good size cloves)
¼ cup small black olives, pitted if desired
4 ounces baby carrots, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise
3 ounces scallions, trimmed and cut into 3 inch lengths
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped celery leaves
  1. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt, pepper, and oregano. Put on a plate and refrigerate while you make the rest of the recipe.
  2. Halve the lemon crosswise and slice one half as thinly as possible, removing the seeds. Juice the other half and set the juice aside.
  3. Combine the oil with the garlic in a large deep-sided cazuela or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Let it get to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the olives, lemon slices, carrots, and scallions and cook 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat. Add the fish, skin side down and, if necessary, add additional oil to just cover the fish. Cook 12-15 minutes, basting the top of the fish often with olive oil from the pan. Don’t worry if the tops of the pieces still look undercooked – that’s the way it should be. Turn the fish over, remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest in the oil another 10 minutes while it finishes cooking.
  6. Drain the fish on a plate lined with paper towels then plate with vegetables from the oil.
  7. Strain ¼ cup oil and mix with the herbs and the reserved lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle a bit over each serving.
  8. Put the oil in a container, cover and refrigerate.  It will last about a week in the fridge.

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