Pan-Seared Serrano Seabass
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional
- 4 - 6 to 8 ounce sea bass fillets, skin on
- 2 large oranges, zested, then peeled and sliced into rounds
- ½ cup Spanish olives, roughly chopped
- 4 very thin slices Serrano ham
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 fresh red chile, such as a fresno or red jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- Allow the sea bass to come to room temperature for 10 minutes before cooking. If needed, lightly pat dry both sides of the fish with paper towels.
- While the fish is coming to room temperature, zest one of the two oranges and place the zest in a medium mixing bowl.
- Using a knife, remove the top and bottom of each orange and place on your cutting board with one of the cut sides down. Carefully go around the outside of the orange with the knife, removing the peel and the white pith underneath while trying to leave as much of the orange intact as possible. Once peeled, lay the orange on its side and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Place into the bowl with the orange zest and add in the olives. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine, taking care not to break apart the orange rounds; set the bowl aside while you prepare the fish.
- Season the filets with salt and pepper and firmly press one slice of the Serrano ham onto the skinless side of each.
- Place a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, very gently lay each filet into the pan away from you, ham side down, making sure to not overcrowd the pan; there should be at least an inch between each filet. Let the fish cook for about 3 minutes until the ham is crispy, then carefully flip to the skin side using a fish spatula. Decrease the heat to medium low and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the fish to a cooling rack and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm (don’t wrap them too tightly or the ham won’t stay crisp).
- On medium heat, pour the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil into the same pan you cooked the fish in. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until just starting to brown, then add the chile and cook for another minute more. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully (it may splatter a bit) stir in the parsley, thyme and vinegar.
- Spoon the orange slices and olives onto 4 separate dinner plates and arrange ½ cup of arugula on top. Place one piece of fish on top of the arugula on each plate and spoon the garlic and chile oil over the fish as well as around the plate. Divide the almonds evenly between each plate and finish with a small pinch of flaky sea salt on top of the fish.