Simple Seared Sea Bass

I love seafood.  I could eat my weight in shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, oysters etc., but I am not a huge fan of fish.  There is just something fishy (forgive the pun) about it that is off-putting to me, and forget about me eating it the next day as leftovers.  Not. Going. To. Happen.  Lately though, I have been trying to eat it more often.  After all, it is really good for you!  Wild caught fish is a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to our good health.

On one of my first trips to Whole Foods since going Paleo, I went crazy and bought three different kinds of fish…some wild caught Sockeye salmon, a few filets of Tilapia and some MSC certified Chilean sea bass.  I had never actually eaten Chilean sea bass.  I know there was (and still is) a lot of controversy about this particular fish, so this is a good reminder that it is critically important to know where your food comes from.  That way, you not only know that you are getting the highest quality meats, but also that they are sustainable.  This is at the core of the Paleo diet.  So, get to know your local farmers, your fish mongers and even the butchers at your favorite market.  Ask questions.  That is what they are there for and they love answering them.  They are the best at what they do.

I know I am way behind on this one, but Whole Foods brought Chilean Sea Bass back on the market with the MSC certification in 2006 (informative podcast here), and I just couldn’t resist it.  It is such a beautiful piece of fish, which is funny because the fish itself, also called the Patagonia toothfish, is not very pretty.

See?  Not pretty.  Really.  This is a face only a mother could love.

The Patagonia toothfish, also known as Chilean Sea Bass

The flesh, though?  Pretty!  Beautiful.  Striking.

Just goes to show, never judge a book by its cover.  Incidentally, I did not take a pic of the fish before I plated the dish, so I borrowed this beautiful picture from here.

Not having any prior experience cooking sea bass, I opted for the easiest preparation method I could think of…a simple pan sear.  Nothing like letting fresh, whole foods shine.  Here is how I did it…

Gather your ingredients…

4 sea bass filets, skin removed

1 T pastured butter

1 T olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Season the fish with s&p.  Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add filets and cook, turning once, until nicely browned and firm to the touch ~about 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve with sides of choice.  I chose my pureed turnips and sautéed spinach.  YUM!

Simple, real food.  So easy and so delicious.

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