Sea Bass with Cauliflower Puree

Served with Scallop, Leek Crisp, with an Almond Cream and Leek’s Ash.

Ingredients


  • for the fish:
  • 1 sea bass
  • 1 large scallop (roe removed and dried)
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • good olive oil
  • 150 g cauliflower
  • for the cauliflower puree:
  • 200 ml single cream
  • for the leek crisp:
  • 1 leek (white part only)
  • groundnut oil (for deep frying)
  • for the almond cream:
  • 200 ml fish stock
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 10 g almond flakes
  • 5 g dill
  • 25 ml amaretto
  • for the leek’s ash:
  • green part of the leek (separated into individual layers)
  • olive oil
  • to garnish:
  • dried scallop powder (made beforehand from the roe of the scallop to be used in the dish. needs a few hours to dry out the roes in the oven)

Method

  1. Cauliflower Puree: Using a mandolin, thinly slice the cauliflower and put into a small saucepan with the 200ml of single cream, making sure the cauliflower is completely covered.
  2. Simmer on a low heat for 40 minutes or until completely soft.
  3. Strain the cream, and then puree the cauliflower in a food processor, adding the retained cream as necessary until the desired consistency is reached.
  4. Season and set aside in a clean pan till needed.
  5. Almond Cream: Put the double cream and fish stock into a small saucepan and reduce by half at a soft boil. This should take no more than 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly toast the almond flakes under the grill.
  7. Once reduced, add the shallots, amaretto and toasted almonds and leave on a low heat to gently cook for a further ten minutes, or until the right consistency is reached.
  8. Leek Crisp: Take the white part of the leek, leaving the base intact so it will hold together, and thinly slice it on a mandolin.
  9. Heat the groundnut oil to about 180c or until a cube of bread browns quickly in it.
  10. Fry the leek until golden and crisp, making sure not to let it go too brown. This should only take 30 seconds or so. Drain and season with salt and a small amount of the scallop roe powder.
  11. Leek’s Ash: Take the individual pieces of leek and spread them on a grill pan. Put under a very hot grill until completely burned and black on both sides. Remove and pound in a mortar and pestle until turned to a fine ash.
  12. Add extra virgin olive oil until a smooth paste has been formed.
  13. Add a tiny amount of fine salt.
  14. Cooking the Fish: Take one fillet from the sea bass. Season the sea bass and scallop with salt, black pepper and a little olive oil. If the scallop is very large, cut it in two to form two round discs
  15. Sea Bass: Heat some olive oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan and when hot, add the sea bass, pressing down on it to keep its shape and to assist the skin becoming crispy. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until most of the fish is opaque.
  16. Turn and cook for a further minute (maximum) on the white side.
  17. Remove from the pan and rest for a minute or two while you cook the scallop.
  18. Scallop: Change the oil and add butter after cooking the Sea Bass.
  19. Turn the heat up on the pan. Place the scallop on the very hot pan. Sear for no more than 35 seconds each side, ensuring the scallop is well coloured all over.
  20. Completing the dish: When ready to serve, reheat the puree and turn the cream up to boiling point, ensuring the consistency and seasoning is correct. At the last minute, add the dill to the cream.
  21. Place a spoonful of puree on a heated plate and create a disc using the back of a spoon.
  22. Place the sea bass fillet on top of the puree.
  23. Place the scallop on top of the sea bass.
  24. Take some of the shallot and almond from the cream - spoon over the fish and carefully dot on the plate around the puree.
  25. Spoon the cream over the fish so it drizzles down over everything and just touches the plate.
  26. Place the leek crisp flat on top of the scallop, so it almost spans the plate.
  27. Using a sauce bottle, place three small dots of the leek’s ash emulsion in a row on one side of the plate.
  28. Finally, sprinkle some of the scallop roe powder over the plate, and serve.

Notes:

By Conal Markey for MasterChef Ireland.





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