The 15th Annual Food & Wine Classic at Aspen

Sea Bass in Potato Crust

4 servings

For this recipe, sea bass filete are cooked in a potato crust. Use large baking potatoes, first peeling them (although they can be left unpeeled, if you prefer) and washing them, then shredding them against the largest holes of a cheese grater. At this point, the potatoes should be used immediately or kept in water to cover until ready to cook.

1. Remove and discard any bones or sinews from the fillets. When cleaned, each fillet shoud weigh about five ounces.

2. Peel the potatoes and wash them. Using the side of a cheese grater with the large holes, shred the potatoes. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups.) Drain well in a colander, then place in a bowl with the leek. Mix well.

3. At cooking time, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet. Sprinkle half the salt on the fillets.

4. When the oil and butter are hot, place four small, evenly-spaced mounds of the shredded potatoes and leek (each about 1/3 cup) in the skillet. Press a portion of fish into each mound, and cover the fish with the remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining salt.

5. Cook the potato packages over medium to high heat, uncovered, for 6 to 7 minutes, turn the carefully with a large spatula, and cook them for an additional 6 to 7 minutes on the other side. The potatoes should be nicely crusted on both sides and the fish inside lightly cooked.

Serve immediately.

Copyrighted by Jaques Pepin, this recipe appears in Jacques Pepin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine (KQED Books and Video, 1996).

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