Chef Bill Telepan, JUdson Grill, New York, NY
Braised Wild Striped Bass, Leek Fondue, Vermouth and Caviar with Crushed Carola Potatoes

Braising in butter reveals the silky, sensual texture of the bass. The addition of caviar and alcohol makes this opulent dish even more seductive
. -Chef Bill Telepan

Yield: 4 servings

Butter Sauce: 8 ounces cream 8 ounces water 2 pounds butter, softened

In a saucepan, bring cream and water to a boil. Add butter and whisk well until melted. Place in blender or use an immersion blender to emulsify the sauce. Lower heat and keep sauce warm or place pot in low oven to hold until ready to use.

The Potatoes: 6 Carola potatoes (or similar medium-sized yellow potatoes such as Yukon Gold) 1 Tablespoon butter 1 Tablespoon vegetable stock Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or tender. When cool to the touch (but still warm), slice tops off 4 of the potatoes and carefully scoop out flesh of each. Peel remaining 2 whole potatoes. In a medium-sized bowl, add scooped flesh plus the additional 2 potatoes and crush, adding butter and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep skins and filling warm until ready to serve.

The Leeks:
4-6 leeks, chopped into 1/4-inch slices and washed well
2 ounces butter
4 ounces Vermouth

Place chopped leeks in a bowl, sprinkle with kosher salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Melt butter in large sauté pan, add leeks and slowly stew until tender, about 12 minutes. Add vermouth and cook until reduced by half. Season to taste. Chill immediately.

Striped Bass (and to finish):
Four 6-ounce skinless pieces of wild striped bass, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 ounces vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chives
1 ounce Osetra caviar

Bring butter sauce to simmer, add bass and bring back to simmer. Cover and place in 300°F oven for 12-15 minutes.

Heat leeks in the vegetable stock and add 4 ounces of the fish cooking butter. Season and add the 1 tablespoon of chives. Mix potato filling with remaining 1 teaspoon chives and fill potato skins.

To serve, divide leek sauce between 4 warm shallow bowls, place fish on top of leeks and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Spoon or quenelle the caviar on top of each piece of fish. Place a potato on plate next to fish.