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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Not my mom’s salmon patties

The last time I was in Whole Foods was my first time in there since going Paleo.  I might have went a little crazy.  For reals.  I bought pound after pound of grassfed beef (all types), veal, pork, chicken, and two types of fish.  I bought a few fillets of sea bass and a rather large chunk of wild caught Sockeye salmon.  We have long since gone through all of it, save the salmon.  I had popped it in the freezer to keep so, a couple of days ago, I pulled it out and set it in the fridge to thaw.  I felt pretty sure that I would bake it with herbs and lemon (from my tree) but there it was tonight, staring at me.  I had already decided that dinner would be easy…store-bought rotisserie chicken, sauteed kale and bacon (thank you, nom nom Paleo!!) and roasted carrots with cumin and cinnamon, so I was not in the mood to deal with the salmon.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a choice.  I couldn’t have it going bad. That’s crazy talk.  Knowing I wasn’t having it for dinner, though, kinda threw a monkey wrench into my plan for herbs and lemon as I am not a big fan of leftover seafood.  So, how could I prepare the salmon so that it would actually get eaten?  Mmm hmmm…salmon patties.  Grew up on them.  love them!  and leftover salmon patties?  Now, that’s a different story.  Don’t ask me what the difference is because I don’t know.  I just know that I will eat leftover salmon patties, but I won’t touch leftover baked salmon.  I’m weird, and I am fully aware.  Thanks.

The salmon patties I grew up on were made straight from a can with breadcrumbs as binder and always eaten with a lot of ketchup.  I loved them and they were delicious, but not very Paleo.  So, I wanted to update them for my new lifestyle.  Here’s how I did it…

Gather your ingredients.

Makes 6 palm size patties

1 pound wild caught salmon, skin off and chopped into chunks

1 T almond flour

1 tsp ginger, minced

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp coconut aminos

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 egg

1 T coconut oil

1 pat of pasture butter

Put all ingredients into a food processor and give it a whirl until it all comes together.  Shape into patties (this is messy) and set aside.  Add 1 T coconut oil and a pat of pasture butter to a pan over medium heat.  When the butter sizzles, place the patties in the pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side until browned, flipping once.

I can already tell you that I will be crumbling these into my breakfast scramble tomorrow morning.  They are pretty dense, but really tasty.

Not my mom's salmon patties...