Open Faced Poached Sea Bass Sandwich

by Monica Bennion on July 6, 2011

On a recent visit to Ohio, Scott and Jana enjoyed this one-of-a-kind recipe, prepared by Benjamin Walsh, Executive Sous Chef at The Wooster Inn in Wooster, Ohio.  Benjamin pairs this with Scott Harvey Amador County Barbera.  Thank you Benjamin for sharing with us your masterpiece.


     16oz Sea Bass
     Loaf of fresh Italian bread

     1 cup pitted kalamata olives
     3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
     1/4 cup capers
     1 garlic  clove
     1 tbsp. anchovy paste
     1 tsp fresh oregano
     1 tsp black pepper

     1 whte onion, minced
     4 cloves garlic, minced
     1/2 cup tomato paste
     2 cups dry white wine
     2 cups vegetable, chicken or clam broth or stock
     3 bay leaves
     2 sprigs fresh thyme
     Salt and pepper to taste

Cut sea bass into 4 oz portions, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.

To make the tapenade, in a food processor add the first four ingredients along with the oil the tomatoes were packed in, blend until smooth.  Pulse the remaining ingredients together.  Add more olive oil if the mixture is too thick.

To make the poaching liqud, in a large sauce pan reduce (evaporate) the white wine by half.  Add the onion and garlic and stir.  Add the stock or broth and whisk in tomato paste.  Add bay leaves and thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the poaching liquid into a shallow sauté pan and bring the temperature to 180°.  Place the sea bass in the liquid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 130°.

Cut the bread into one inch slices, brush with olive oil and lightly grill.

Spread the tapenade mixture onto each slice and place the sea bass on the bread.  Pour some of the remaining poaching liquid around the bowl.  Garnish the fish with a lightly dressed watercress salad.

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