Saturday, January 14, 2012

102. Chilean Sea Bass



It's not a secret that my family loves seafood.  We try to add this to our meals once or twice a week.  I tend to be a creature of habit and stick with what I know:  halibut, crab, shrimp and salmon.  These four seafood items are fairly easy to prepare: butter and sauté.  While mixing up the seasoning a bit I can create different flavors and this keeps my little family happy at dinner time.

Yesterday was like any other shopping day.  I had my list of ideas for meals, new the store I was going to be shopping at and had my budget in mind.  I spend roughly about $200.00 dollars a week on food…give or take a special occasion or meal.  I don't know if this is a lot or a little.  I just feed my family.  I would be curious to learn what other familys spend on food each month to see where my budget fits into the median of our society.

I tend to shop at Whole foods and know the store pretty well.  Even at whole foods I try to shop the perimeter of the store and not get caught up in the aisles.  Even though their stuff tends to be healthier it is also more expensive and over priced.  I fill my cart at least half way with fruit and veggies, dairy and cheese is next and then I finish the shopping with meat and bread, the last two being small in comparison to the rest of the shopping.


I love the fish section at Whole Foods and find myself drawn to all of the different types of filets spread across the ice.  My kids would love for me to buy a whole snapper one day and bring it home , head and all.

While at the fish counter I saw my beloved halibut and right next to it was the Chilean Sea Bass.  I asked a few questions: flavor, texture, flakiness, etc… and decided that this fish would be a great addition to my weekly meal.  

In the past I have bought small portions, maybe a pound, and filled in the rest of the meal with rice and veggies.  My family is always left wanting more.  I decided that I would take a piece twice the size that I normally buy.  I knew that it was marked at 26.00 per pound and I was okay with this price.  
At the register I noticed that my bill was a little bit more than usual, but that's okay,  I paid for it and got home.  While putting the food away, I noticed the price on the sea bass…$53.00…yes, I had sticker shock.  I have never paid that much for any seafood item before (besides crab…that's different…I get 24 crabs for 85.00, not one piece of fish..LOL)  

I laughed and thought, "WOW, this better be the best damn fish I have ever cooked."  

AND…

it was!

My family loved every last flake and said that they had not had a fish that tasted so good.  It was all worth the adventure of trying something new and the expense.  I fed my family sea bass for 53.00 and I know if I had gone to a restaurant it would have been 3X's that.  


Recipe:  Chilean Sea Bass

2 lbs of sea bass, cut into 2 inch filets
1 stick of butter
salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp of paprika
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 red bell pepper sliced thinly

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add everything but the fish to the pan.  Once the butter is hot and the onion and bell pepper have cooked for 3 minutes, add the sea bass filets to the pan.  Make sure your heat is not too high at this point to burn the butter and the bottom of your fish.  Cook each side 7 minutes.  You will know your fish is done when it is firm to the touch and easily flakes apart.

Gently remove the fish to a serving platter.  The juices and veggies left in the pan can be served in a gravy boat as a topping for the fish and rice, if it served with the dish.

Recipe:  Fruit Relish

1 apple, cubed
1 mango, cubed
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup of cilantro
3 T. Orange Juice

Mix together and serve immediately.

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