Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Potato-Crusted Sea Bass in Mango-Carrot Broth and Mango-Green Pepper Salsa

taken with the iPhone. sorry, I'm without camera

Okay so after blogging about the cupcakes the other night, I was feeling adventurous and (a little too) confident about my ability to master that particular Bobby Flay recipe. Assuming I'd manage fine enough, I set out to make Bobby Flay's Potato and Cascabel-Crusted Halibut with Mango-Carrot Broth and Mango-Green Onion Salsa. Wow. Even the title is a mouthful. That says something about how ambitious I was feeling. But boy, was I wrong!

I've been reading Julia Child's My Life in France, which absolutely delights me in ways food books have never done so before. I have always been a little embarrassed at the degree to which I romanticize about France and she makes me feel just so justified in doing so. Anyway, she always goes on about the importance of not apologizing and the value in being able to make do with all your mistakes in the kitchen. That said, there were many mistakes in my attempts to create Bobby's recipe. First, I couldn't find Cascabel chile powder or habanero chiles, so I had to make do with whatever seemed to fit (regular chile powder [what kind of chile does that use, anyway?], and some other unidentifiable chile pepper). Then, the fish monger at Whole Foods was out of halibut, so I opted for Sea Bass, not quite realizing how expensive Sea Bass was until I made my way to the cashier. I left my green onions at the market, so the Mango-Green Onion Salsa became Mango-Green Pepper salsa. Finally, in the frying, the potato "crust" on the halibut formed a sort of skin and slid right off as soon as I attempted to plate it. Despite all of those mishaps and "whoops!"moments, I managed to finish it off and I thought it was quite delicious. And Julia has me convinced that that's all that matters!

If you'd like to be ambitious too and use the original, use the above (or below) link. My version is below.

Potato-Crusted Sea Bass in Mango-Carrot Broth and Mango-Green Pepper Salsa
adapted from Bobby Flay
serves 4

Carrot-Mango Broth:
2 cups fresh mango juice or canned mango nectar
2 cups fresh carrot juice
1 tablespoon toasted whole fennel seeds
2 tablespoons toasted whole coriander seeds
1 chile
Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the juices, fennel, coriander and chile and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until reduced by half. Strain through a fine strainer and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mango-Green Onion Salsa:
1 large mango, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 green chile, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Sea bass:
4 sea bass fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
Salt and pepper
1 large Idaho potato, peeled and finely shredded
1 tablespoon chile powder
3 tablespoons olive oil

Season the fillet on both sides, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cover the flesh side with a thin layer of the shredded potatoes, pressing down so it adheres, and sprinkle with the chile powder. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Cook the fillets, potato-side down, until the potatoes are lightly browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the fillets, and cook until done to taste, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the mango-carrot broth into a large serving bowl and arrange the fillets in the bowl. Top each fillet with mango-green chile salsa and serve any remaining salsa on the side.

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