Chilean Sea Bass with Mushroom Asparagus Risotto
Once upon a time I was reluctant to make seafood at home. It was something I always ordered at restaurants and considered it to be delicate, so I didn’t want to ruin it by cooking it at home. Slowly I started experimenting with what I considered more approachable seafood shrimp, salmon and clams (in my famous clam linguini). Each time I tried something new I realized they were actually pretty easy to make and wondered why it took me so long to try! Now seafood is a regular part of my weekly menu –not to mention it’s a healthy, delicious source of protein.
Since October is Seafood Month to celebrate, I’m partnering with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to hit a new milestone: cooking a type of seafood I’ve never made before in my kitchen: Chilean Sea Bass.
So how exactly did I land on Chilean Sea Bass?
Well, there are so many incredible, sustainable seafood options available to us as Canadians and thanks to MSC you can easily identify seafood that is sustainably sourced. Just look for the MSC blue fish label on your favorite seafood products and know your purchase is supporting a well-managed, sustainable fishery that works hard to conserve the marine environment.
I did some exploring at Whole Foods, which sells many MSC certified sustainable seafood options, and landed on Chilean Sea Bass. It is a rich, buttery, delicate fish that I usually see on fancy restaurant menus, so it was really going to push me outside of my comfort zone.
Actually, you might be surprised to know how many retailers sell MSC certified seafood. To name a few: Loblaws, Costco, Sobeys, No Frills, Zehrs, even the fish filet at McDonald’s is made from MSC certified sustainable fish! Or if you really want to impress your dining companions, you can get fresh seafood from Nova Scotia shipped to your door from a company called Clearwater – how freakin’ cool!
Regardless of where you shop, you can find certified sustainable seafood available at every price point and budget which means no excuses! It’s not only good for you but good for the oceans too – and if I can’t convince you, I’m sure a gal named Greta Thunberg can 🙂
With that being said, I challenge you to join me for Seafood Month and challenge yourself to get outside of your comfort zone by trying a new certified, sustainable seafood in the kitchen. Let this recipe serve as your inspiration!
Chilean Sea Bass with Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto
- MSC Certified Chilean Sea Bass
- Salt & pepper
- Avocado oil (or oil that has a high smoking point)
Lemon Dill Sauce:
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs fresh dill
- 3/4 cup of wine
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Juice of half lemon
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 cup of Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 bunch of asparagus chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup porcini mushrooms chopped into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Juice of half a lemon
- Handful roughly chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
You will cook the Chilean Sea Bass last because it doesn’t take long, but you need to do a few things to prep first. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Lay out the fish with a paper towel on top and the bottom to soak up the liquid.
Make the sauce first. Put wine, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter. Remove from heat and stir in the dill. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Next, make the risotto. Note, the risotto requires a lot of love and attention so plan to be by the stove for 30 minutes or so. Start by bringing the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Leave it on the stove as you prepare to ladle it into another saucepan to make the risotto.
In the second saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and stir around for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook while stirring until it has evaporated. Add 1/2 cup of hot stock at a time, let it absorb in the rice while stirring. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock in this manner until the rice is al dente, which is about 20 minutes total (you may not need to add all the stock).
When you get to the last two portions of stock to add, you can add in the asparagus and mushrooms. At this point, if you are a multi-tasker, you can also start to cook the fish – if not just wait until the risotto is finished. Once all of the liquid is absorbed into the risotto, remove it from the heat and stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, and cheese. Then season with salt and pepper for taste.
And now for the star of the show. I seriously couldn’t believe how easy it was to nail this Chilean Sea Bass. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Put an oven friendly skillet on the stove on high heat. I used a cast iron skillet and it was perfect. You don’t want to put the fish on until it is piping hot. Once hot add, add a couple teaspoons of avocado oil. Lay the skin side of the fish on the skillet surface for 3 minutes. Flip and let sit for another 3 minutes. You want both sides to be nice and crispy. Put the skillet in the stove for 5 minutes to finish cooking the fish. If it is a thicker piece, it might take a little longer.
To serve, plate the risotto with the fish on top and then drizzle with the lemon dill sauce. And voila! You are celebrating national seafood month in delicious style.