So I love where I live , for example I can pop over to my neighbours house for 2 minutes and come home with a fillet of wild bass ! Lucky for us we have many friends as neighbours and we all give, share and help one another out. This is so gratifying to be surrounded by such positive energy on your doorstep.
It’s even better when that positive energy comes from food. I love fresh fish and to have a bit of wild bass is a novelty for me . Jim my neighbour is a bit of a legend when it comes to spearfishing , over the years I have seen him come home with all sorts of jewels of the sea from his secret marks. A lot of time, effort, training and skill goes into his ability to hand catch amazing fish. He very kindly gave me some bass in return for cooking a load of food for him and his family the week before.
When it comes to cooking fresh fish the key is simplicity. You really want the other ingredients in the dish to complement the fish .If the other ingredients are as fresh as the fish then you are laughing. Its always good to have something tart with fish. Lucky for me I had some local gooseberries which were tart but also had the perfect amount of underlying sweetness. I love experimenting with tart flavours mixed with different types of seaweed as it combines the sour and salty flavours of asia that I love but you do not necessarily associate with the UK. In this recipe I used Dulce seaweed as it has quite a meaty flavour. Bass goes well with meaty, salty flavours such as chorizo so I thought I would give Dulce a go. It works really really well !
Wash the new potatoes and Broccoli and cook in salted boiling water. Cook until done.
Take the gooseberries and remove the stalks, clean and put into a blender (Nutri Bullet ) with the dulce seaweed. Add a teaspoon of water just to give it a bit or liquid.
Add the blended gooseberries and dulce to 1 tablespoon melted butter in a pan. Gently simmer for 2-4 minutes until the sauce has come together and emulsified. Turn off the heat.
Portion the seabass and season with sea salt
Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat. Once the oil is hot add the sea bass skin side down. Push the fish down with a spatula so that it does not curl up due to the heat. You want to leave the fish skin side down until it is cooked 3/4 of the way through. Try to avoid moving the fish too much as you want a crisp skin. Once the fish is 3/4 cooked , flip the fish over and finish the top of the fish.
Whilst the bass is cooking heat up the seaweed and gooseberry butter. Place the cooked fish on top of the broccoli. Add the butter sauce on top of the fish and serve with buttered new potatoes.
This dish is amazing and it is all down to the produce. The potatoes on their own are out of this world. Full of flavour, texture, sweet and buttery. This combined with the fresh broccoli and fish creates a fresh lovely naturally sweet dish. This is then finished with the acidity and salt from the butter mixture. It really is a perfect combination, every ingredient standing tall on its own but then complimenting each other perfectly. The crispy skin on the bass is also sweet, charred and oily that gives the dish another texture and depth of flavour. This dish can be made with any fish such as haddock, hake or ling. Seabass is an amazing fish however it is under fishing restrictions at the moment, you are allowed to fish for it after July 1st and take one home. They are under threat to an extent here in the UK which is why these personal quotas are put in place however stocks are apparently increasing again.
This is a dish from gods county and to be relished. It has the usual twist of flavour and makes you feel proud to be eating a dish that was all sourced from our doorstep.