Crisp Paupiette of Sea Bass in a Barolo Sauce
From Cooking with Daniel Boulud, by Daniel Boulud (Random House, 1993)
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 Servings

You can assemble this dish up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep it refrigerated before cooking and serving it.


    Paupiette of sea bass:
  • 4 sea bass fillets, 7 ounces each, skinless, bones set aside for the sauce
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme: 1 sprig leaves only, chopped, and 2 sprigs halved for garnish
  • 2 very large baking potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet butter
  • 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Barolo sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon oil, for cooking
  • cup shallots, peeled and chopped
  • cup white mushrooms, caps only, sliced
  • sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of Barolo wine or other good red cooking wine
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • cup sweet butter
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the paupiette of sea bass:

Make each fillet as rectangular as possible (about 5 inches by 2 inches) by trimming off uneven edges with a sharp knife. Salt and pepper the fillets and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of the chopped thyme. Using a knife, shape each potato lengthwise by cutting off the rounded outer flesh to form 4 rectangular slices (do not cut off the tips of the potatoes). Cut each potato lengthwise into very thin, long slices with a vegetable slicer or mandoline, each potato should yield about 16 slices (8 slices are needed to wrap 1 fish fillet). Do not rinse the potato slices as their starch will help the wrapped slices stick together. Toss the potato slices in 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted, and a pinch of salt.

Place a 10-inch-square piece of parchment paper on the counter, choose 8 potatoes of approximately the same length. Place a fillet of fish horizontally at the top of the parchment paper so you can match the length of the potato wrap to the length of the fish. Place the first slice of potato perpendicular to the fish starting on the left side. Place a second slice overlapping the first one about 3/8 inch from the left edge. Continue overlapping the potato slices until you have covered an area equal to the length of the fillet of fish. Center the fish horizontally in the middle of the potato wrap and fold the edges of the potatoes over the fish to enclose it entirely. Repeat the same process for the remaining fillets and refrigerate.

For the leeks:
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sweat until soft, about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on the side.

For the barolo sauce:
Heat the oil in a pot over high heat. Add the reserved sea bass bones, the shallots, mushrooms and thyme sprig and roast for 8 to 10 minutes while stirring often. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and cook until completely reduced. Add the Barolo wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Remove and discard the fish bones with a mesh skimmer. Reduce the sauce to 2 tablespoons. Add the heavy cream, stir, and bring to a boil over low heat. Whip in the butter, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce with a fine mesh strainer and keen warm on the side. (If the sauce is too thick add a little warm water to thin it.)

To cook the Paupiette of Sea Bass, preheat the oven to 425°F. Melt the remaining tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Add the paupiettes of sea bass and sauté until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. If the fish is very thick, finish cooking in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

To serve:
Place a bed of leeks in the middle of 4 warm plates and ladle the sauce around the leeks (about 2 tablespoons per plate). Place a Paupiette of Sea Bass on top of the leeks and garnish with 1/2 sprig of thyme. Sprinkle the plate with minced chives.



Updated: October 2004