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Striped Bass with Meyer Lemon Chimichurri Recipe

Striped Bass with Meyer Lemon Chimichurri Recipe



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Will Budiaman

Striped Bass with Meyer Lemon Chimichurri

Upon looking at the photo, you may be asking yourself: Why are there still Meyer lemon slices inside the fish? Surely you wouldn’t want to eat them. There, they served it in a refreshing salad with watermelon radishes, snowflake celery leaves, and pickled onion arranged on a base of burrata.

Such was my inspiration when I created this dish. I wanted something quick, refreshing, and fruity. When thinly sliced, Meyer lemon isn't overwhelming — rather, it brightens up mildly flavored ingredients such as this striped bass. The slight bitterness in the rind balances out the slightly sweet flavor of the fruit nicely. Cooking whole fish doesn't get a whole lot easier than this.

Click here to see more Sweet and Tangy Citrus recipes.

Ingredients

  • One 1-pound striped bass, scaled and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Meyer lemon, sliced thinly
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

Wheatless Wednesday – Grilled Striped Bass with Chimichurri Sauce

At the farmer’s market on Sunday, in a momentary lapse of judgement, I found myself buying a whole 2 1/2 pound striped bass. What was I thinking? I have never prepared a whole fish before! Well, Good Mother Diet is partly about expanding my culinary repertoire, so here goes… This recipe can also be adapted for cooking individual fish filets (see recipe for tips).

Chimichurri, a sauce which is a staple on Argentinian tables, is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar, although there are many variations which include cumin and other spices). Since striped bass has such a nice delicate flavor, I didn’t want to overpower it with too many strong flavors during cooking, so topping it with a spoon of chimichurri sauce after cooking is a great way to add freshness and flavor without ‘drowning’ the fish.

Cooking whole fish seems daunting but in reality, the preparation is quick and easy. The only challenging part is removing the bones which can be done before or after cooking. Most butchers (even at farmers markets) will gut, clean and scale the fish for you even removing the fins. If you ask, they might be willing to also butterfly and remove the bones so you don’t have to do it later. If you are preparing smaller fish that hasn’t been de-boned you can leave it up to each diner to remove the bones, however, if you are cooking a large fish and serving family style, it’s best to remove the bones and cutting the filets into smaller pieces for serving. Click HERE for video instructions on how to debone a cooked fish.

Grilled Striped Bass with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rinse and dry the fish with papertowels. Brush the inside of the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Spread half the thyme and oregano sprigs inside the fish.
  • Arrange the lemon slices on top of the herbs and place the rest of the herbs on top of the lemon.

  • Wrap the twine, if you are using, around one end of the fish and tie it in place. Wrap it around the fish several times, to keep the filling inside, and tie the other end.

  • Preheat grill (or broiler). Cook fish for 5 minutes. Carefully turn it over and cook another 5 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.

  • If you are using filets instead of whole fish, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 3-4 minutes on a rack at least 6 to 8 inches away from heat. Turn fish over and place herbs and lemon on top. Broil 3-4 more minutes. Top with Chimichurri Sauce.

You can choose to serve the fish skin side up or down depending on preference.


Striped Bass and Preserved Lemon Dressing With Grilled Carrots — The Weekender

Every winter I order up a large box of Meyer lemons from California. I make marmalade, lemonade concentrate and a big jar of salt-preserved lemons. I spread the marmalade on toast, drizzle the lemonade concentrate into glasses of sparkling water and stare at the preserved lemons, wondering what the heck to do with them.

And so I search out recipes that feature these lemons. I make a few tagines (a traditional use for these salty preserved lemons). I whiz a few slivers into hummus. And I blend up a creamy salad dressing to eat with tomatoes and avocado. Still, there are more preserved lemons to eat.

Because I always have a jar of these lemons in my fridge just begging to be used, any time I spot a recipe that includes them, I sit up and take notice. The recipe that most recently caught my eye was Ina Garten’s Striped Bass and Preserved Lemon Dressing With Grilled Carrots. It’s a gorgeously simple preparation. The fish is pan-roasted, then settled on top of a sunny pool of dressing that’s made from preserved lemons, mayonnaise and vinegar. It’s fresh tasting and the perfect thing for these summer Weekenders.

Before you start cooking, read these tips:

— The cooking instructions for this recipe might sound a little fussy, but because striped bass fillets are often quite thick, they ensure that you get the perfect temperature through to the center of the fish.

— There’s one flaw with this recipe and that’s the quantity of Preserved Lemon Dressing it makes. You really need only a few spoonfuls for the portion of fish you’re instructed to make. There are two solutions: Reduce the amount of dressing you make or start putting it on everything. I cut the recipe in half and still had plenty to drizzle over salads later in the week. It’s also dreamy with grilled chicken.

— And if you’re concerned about ensuring you buy only sustainable fish, there’s good news here. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch rates Atlantic-caught striped bass as a best choice.

Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round , is now available.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) striped bass fillets
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers, chopped
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan swirl to coat. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Add fillets to pan, skin side up sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn fillets over sauté 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan keep warm.

Add capers to pan cook 15 seconds, stirring frequently. Add clam juice and lemon juice bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove pan from heat. Add butter stir with a whisk until butter melts. Stir in parsley. Serve sauce with fish.

Wine note: Bursting with fruit and minerality, the classic Domaine A et P de Villaine "Bouzeron" 2007 ($23), from a small French town in the Côte Chalonnaise, is an ideal companion to this refreshingly simple wild striped bass. --Alexander Spacher


How to Make It

Sprinkle fillets with pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt let stand 20 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add lemons, cut sides down, and cook until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, and place fillets, skin sides down, in skillet with lemon. Cook, undisturbed, until sides of skin begin to brown and fish is almost fully opaque, 5 to 7 minutes.

When the fillets appear to be approximately 90% cooked through, gently shake skillet. When cooked with patience, the fish will release itself from the pan, allowing you to flip the fillets without sticking. Flip fillets, and cook 1 minute. Transfer fish and lemons to plates. Cut each lemon half into 2 wedges. Wipe skillet clean.

Reduce heat to medium-low, and add wine, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and butter. As butter melts, whisk to emulsify mixture. Spoon sauce over fillets. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve with a charred lemon wedge.


Roasted Pacifico Striped Bass with Chimichurri and Blistered Tomatoes

The striped bass has a nice smoky flavor off of the grill that is cut by the freshness and acidity of the chimichurri. For a less smoky flavor, seek out thinner fillets (which will take less time to cook)!

INGREDIENTS

4 Six to Eight ounce skin on Pacifico Striped Bass

4 bunches of cherry tomatoes, stems on

1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes

2 tablespoons shallot, minced

1 lemon, cut into quarters

DIRECTIONS

For the Chimichurri: Chop lightly by hand, in a blender or food processor.

Preheat the grill to 425°F. Season the Pacifico fillet and cherry tomatoes, stem on with olive oil, salt, pepper. Place the fillet skin side down and cook 4 minutes or until the fillet is cooked to desired doneness, turning once. Add the tomatoes with two minutes to go to lightly char.

To serve, place the fillets on individual plates with the grilled tomato, chimichurri and lemon wedges.


Ingredients

Step 1

Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash anchovies (if using) and garlic on a cutting board until a coarse paste forms. Mix in a medium bowl with herbs, pickles, lemon juice, and 5 Tbsp. oil. Season green sauce with kosher salt and pepper.

Step 2

Swirl remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet to coat. Season fish generously on both sides with salt and lay, skin side down, in cold skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and let it gradually heat up until fat starts to cook out of fish, about 4 minutes. At this point you may press gently on fish so that the skin is flat against the pan. Continue to cook until skin is super-crisp and flesh is mostly opaque (you can increase or decrease heat slightly if needed, but don’t try to rush it), 8–12 minutes longer, depending on the thickness of the fish. Less fatty fish won’t release as much fat on their own, so you may need to add a splash more oil to the skillet if the skin isn’t getting crisp enough. Turn fish and cook just until opaque all the way through, about 1 minute.

Step 3

Spoon green sauce onto a platter and carefully set fish, skin side up, on top. Sprinkle with sea salt.


Ways to Serve Smoked Striped Bass

Smoking fish is an excellent way to preserve it, especially if you had a big catch. I like to serve smoked fish sliced with lemon and capers alongside a basket of crunchy grilled crostini that has been rubbed with a little garlic. It is also excellent when processed into a fish pâté to spread on crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Toss smoked fish pieces into a salad with greens and pickled vegetables. Or, make a batch of fried fish cakes using your leftover smoked bass.

If you are feeling adventurous, I suggest trying your hand at smoked fish chowder. Striped bass is not a very aggressively flavored fish, even when smoked. It works well in soups and casseroles. A thick, creamy, smoked fish stew or chowder is a perfect vehicle for striped bass. The addition of clams and hardy vegetables makes it a perfect one pot meal. Serve with some crusty bread and an amber beer or Sauvignon Blanc.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 bulbs fennel with stalks and fronds
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 3/4 pounds wild striped bass fillets (each about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove stalks from fennel bulbs reserve bulbs for another use. Remove feathery fronds from stalks and reserve for garnish. Using a sharp knife, halve stalks lengthwise. Arrange stalks in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan pour wine over stalks. Lay fish fillets on top drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake until fish is just cooked through and opaque throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Divide fish among serving plates, discarding fennel stalks. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.


RECIPES

There is nothing we love more at Pacifico than seeing our beautiful fish served whole. The skin is especially delicious served crispy as the meat turns out moist and juicy. For ease of serving, score the fish on the diagonal making three slices per fish on each side. That way once cooked, you will be able to gently lift each piece off of the body.

Tiradito is of Peruvian origin and is a way of combining the elements of ceviche and sashimi in a single dish. Ceviche typically is made by covering the raw fish in an acidic marinade. “Cooking” it in the acid. Don’t serve this right away, let the fish marinate for about 15 minutes until the fish has turned more opaque, and the exterior of each small piece has taken on a partially cooked consistency.

Poaching is a delicious and healthy way to prepare striped bass while keeping it tender. In this dish, the striped bass mostly covered, but not submerged, in a fragrant broth of stock, lemon, fresh spring herbs, garlic, and peppercorns, and gently cooked while the broth simmers. The result is a moist, flaky piece of fish with fresh flavorful undertones.

Baja Ceviche (or “cebiche”, it can be spelled several ways) is a dish prepared with raw fish that is usually marinated in lime juice and other fresh ingredients. We love it with our luscious striped bass. Adding the avocado to the puree gives this presentation additional richness. You can finish with extra chopped avocado and cilantro to taste!

The striped bass has a nice smoky flavor off of the grill that is cut by the freshness and acidity of the chimichurri. For a less smoky flavor, seek out thinner fillets (which will take less time to cook)!