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Black Sea Bass with a Potato Crust and a Light Vinaigrette

Pierre's take on a Paul Bocuse-inspired recipe. Thinly cut potatoes are placed on the fish fillets to resemble scales. The fillets are cooked until the potato scales are lightly browned and crunchy, allowing the fish to stay moist inside.


2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon melted butter
4 4-ounce fillets of black sea bass, red snapper, or rockfish, with skin or without
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chervil or parsley
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped chives


1. Cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices or thinner. Place on a flat surface and cut into uniform rounds using a 3/4-inch round metal cutter. Cut as many rounds as possible -- they will be used to simulate the scales of a fish. There should be 20-24 rounds for each fillet. In a saucepan, bring enough water to a boil and add the potato slices. Blanch for 10 seconds. Drain immediately and let cool. Dip the potatoes into the melted butter, then set aside and keep lukewarm.

2. Lay the 4 fish fillets on a flat surface. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the tops with egg mixture. Lay the potatoes on each fillet, overlapping each one with the next one. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to harden the butter and affix the scales together.

3. Meanwhile place the lemon juice, chervil, tomatoes, and 4 tablespoons olive oil in a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Blend well with a wire whisk and let vinaigrette stand briefly.

4. Over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet that will hold the fillets in one layer. Add the fillets, potato side down. Cook until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and cook, basting often, about 4 more minutes. Take care not to overcook.

5. To serve, divide the vinaigrette over each plate. Place each fillet in the center with the potato side up. Sprinkle with the chopped chives and serve immediately.


4 servings