pan-roasted striped bass
Recipe courtesy of John O’Leary, Executive Chef, Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club (Palm City, Fla.)
- Start by patting the striped bass fillets dry with disposable food towel.
- Season both sides of the fish fillets generously with salt and freshly milled white pepper.
- Heat the cast iron pan over medium-high heat. (Chef's note: You want the pan to be hot but not smoking.)
- Add drizzle of olive oil and gently place the seasoned striped bass fillets in the hot pan, skin-side down. Press down lightly with a fish spatula to ensure even contact with the pan. Allow them to cook without jarring pan for about 4-5 minutes or until the skin becomes golden brown and crispy. (Chef's note: Patience is key to allow skin to crisp during searing.)
- Add more olive oil or clarified butter to the hot pan as needed. Add the minced garlic and the fresh thyme sprigs (or other herbs of your choice).
- Carefully flip the fillets using a fish spatula and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. (Chef's note: The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets.)
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the fish while it's still in the pan. This will add a burst of freshness to the dish. Watch out for splatter.