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Sea Bass with Saffron, Sherry and Pine Nuts

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is another fabulously easy recipe—and you can be totally relaxed about it. That’s to say, consider it simply a guide: use other fish fillets if you like, or indeed substitute chicken breasts; just remember they’ll need much longer cooking and therefore probably more liquid. I reckon that the two pounds of fish stipulated here should be about two medium-sized bass, filleted. I then cut each fillet in half or thirds, so that you’ll have either eight or twelve smaller slices to cook. I love this with a small pile of plain white basmati rice and a contrasting bowlful of dark, muddy lentils.

Serves8

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodstressed

Taste and Texturefruity, nutty, rich, savory

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sea bass fillets, skinned
  • Maldon or other sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
  • Good pinch saffron strands
  • 4 tablespoons Amontillado sherry
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

Cut the fish into smaller pieces, however you want, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Put the sultanas in a bowl, strew with the saffron, warm up the sherry and pour it over. Put a thick-bottomed frying pan on the heat and toss the pine nuts in it until they take on a deep gold color and give off their waxy aromatic scent. Pour onto a plate and put on one side. Pour the sultanas in their saffroned sherry into the emptied-out pan and add the water, then put it back on the heat and let it come to a simmer, then add the fish fillets, or as many as will fit in one layer; add more water if they are not more or less submerged. After about a minute’s simmering, turn them over with a couple of spatulas. They cook very quickly and if you leave it too long, they’ll flake as you turn them. Give them another minute or so on the second side and remove to a waiting plate. Continue till you’ve used up all the fish, adding more water as necessary. When you’ve finished, use the spatula to remove as many sultanas as you can to the cooked fish on the plate, then turn the heat under the frying pan to high and let the sherry-saffron juices reduce till you have a just-liquid yellow syrup. Pour this over the fish, then scatter over the toasted pine nuts. And that’s all there is to it.

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This recipe sounds delicious, but the directions are poorly written.

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