Wild Striped Bass Braised with Red Wine
Chloe Creek Vineyards
1 bulb of fennel, fronds removed & reserved
Salt and pepper
8-12 fingerling potatoes
Two 7-8-oz. wild striped bass fillets (prefer two thick pieces cut from a larger fish)
1 1/2 - 2 cups sliced mushrooms, oyster, shiitake and domestic
4-6 cipolllini onions, peeled & quartered
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 heirloom or beefsteak tomato, cored & large diced
6-8 oz. Chloe Creek Pinot Noir
8 oz. fish or vegetable stock
Pat fish dry, making sure all scales are removed. Score the skin with the tip of a sharp knife in a cross hatch pattern, a half inch apart. Do not cut too deeply into the flesh. Just prior to cooking, season the fish with sea salt and black pepper. Remove the fennel fronds (reserve for garnish) and stems. Quarter the bulb top to bottom and remove the core, leaving just enough of the core to hold the fennel together. Roast the fennel in an oven dish with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. or until tender, turning the pieces over halfway through. Rinse and halve fingerlings lengthwise, reserve in cold water. Simmer potatoes in salted water for 20 min.
Heat a 10 or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. Oil the pan, making sure it doesn’t smoke, and place the bass in the pan skin side down. Cook skin side for 2-3 min. and then turn over and cook for 2 more min. Remove fish from the pan. Bring the pan back up to temperature and add more oil if necessary. Add sliced mushrooms and saute briefly 1-2 min. Add cipollini onions and cook another 2 min. Add garlic and cook for a min., being careful not to brown. Add tomato, toss with other vegetables briefly, and then deglaze with red wine. Reduce wine by 1/3 and then add stock.
Return liquid to a simmer and add fish back to pan, skin side up. Cover loosely with parchment paper and cook in oven for 8-10 min., careful not to overcook. Remove the fish from the pan when cooked, firm and flaky, and reduce liquid further if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Place some fingerlings in the center of a large bowl. Place fish on the potatoes. Spoon the sauce with the mushrooms and tomatoes around the fish. Place half of the roasted fennel to the side of the fish and garnish with the fennel fronds. Recipe sourced from Executive Chef Jarrad Lang, Mirror Lake Inn, Chloe Creek Pinot Pairings Cookbook.