Try Dermot McDonnell's great main course recipe.


  • for the sea bass tempura:
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 250 g fillet sea bass (cut into strips)
  • 2 free-range eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 tblsp cornflour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 ml sparkling mineral water/champagne mix
  • sunflower oil for deep frying
  • for the sauce
  • fish stock
  • fresh cream
  • champagne
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • for the roasted butternut squash and pancetta purée:
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 10 strips of panchetta
  • fresh cream
  • salt and pepper


  • For the Roasted Butternut Squash and Pancetta Purée:
  • Cut the butternut squash in half and place into a roasting tin.
  • Cook the squash in a preheated until completely softened and beginning to caramelise on the outside.
  • Once cooked, allow to cool and scoop the flesh into a blender.
  • Lay the strips of panchetta onto a roasting tray and place into the oven until they are crispy (be careful not to burn this delicate meat).
  • Add the crispy panchetta, some fresh cream and the pepper to the blender and blend until a smooth and creamy.
  • For the Sea Bass Tempura:
  • Place the flour into a bowl. Roll the sea bass strips in the flour until they have been covered. Shake off the excess flour.
  • Transfer the remaining flour along with the eggs, spice, cornflour, salt and freshly ground black pepper into a large bowl. Gradually stir in the the sparkling mineral water and Champagne until the mixture has the consistency of single cream. Leave the mixture to rest for ten minutes.
  • Dip the sea bass strips into the batter and gently shake off the excess mixture.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan of sunflower oil until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden when added (CAUTION: Hot oil can ve dangerous. Do not leave unattended).
  • Add the sea bass strips to the saucepan in batches of two or three and cook for three minutes or until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • For the Sauce:
  • Reduce the fish stock, add the champagne and allow to reduce even more.
  • Then add the fresh cream and seasoning. Reduce until the sauce has thickened and the flavours and sufficiently intense.
  • For the Salad:
  • Place all the salad ingredients together into a clean bowl and mix well.
  • For the Roasted Butternut Squash and Pancetta Purée:
  • Once roasted, blend the butternut squash until finely pureed.
  • Roast the panchetta until crispy, add to the blender and puree with the butternut squash until the blend is creamy and consistent.
  • Throughout the process keep adding the fresh cream and seasoning to taste (mostly pepper).

More by Dermot McDonnell:

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