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Sea Bass Grilled

One-half pound of sea bass, painted with lemon agrumato olive oil was set on a bed of fresh sorrel in a 1/4 size hotel pan. A few thin lemon wedges and some curls of shallot were sprinkled on top. Then a 1/4 cup of dry white wine poured into the pan before it went onto a hot barbecue. When the liquid was hot, the pan went to the top rack while the squash was grilled hot.

The sea bass was perfectly cooked – judged by texture – after about 15 minutes. The flesh was easily separated with a fork from the skin, which was left on, and into bite size pieces of the perfect texture. I’ve heard people say it cut like butter, and maybe that’s a good analogy, but it has a mouth feel that’s more like the perfect filet Mignon, only more like you imagine it than beef ever really is. Well-cooked fish is more silky.

And so what to drink with fish? A gift of California Chardonnay, the perfect texture and dryness for fish. A french once, a Burgundy would have less evidence of its making – the taste of malolactic fermentation to me, or maybe they just added oak flavoring. I’ve added oak knots to gin and other spirits I’ve made and it has never tasted like the chemical taste of a California Chardonnay. That taste aside, this grape makes perfect wine for fish, especially simple unadorned fish. With the meal we had a bottle of Touraine open as well. And it was a fine, fresh Savignon Blanc from the Loire region of France but it was not perfect with the fish. Oh well.

The squash is a yellow flying saucer type so young there were few to no seeds and it was grilled hot so the skin just peeled away and left a vegetable with the texture of mashed potatoes and a creamy taste not far from from it. Also not fancied up, that was comparable to great naked mashed potatoes. A few green beans from the garden made us feel like we’d eaten our vegetables too.


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