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Video: Yum! Feast on striped bass with bacon-butter sauce

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    >>> this morning on today's kitchen, step by step , bacon butter sauce, all you need is a little bit of the flavor to turn a common striped bass into a really special dish. eric repair is the chef and owner of the newly-renovated lebe lebernadain restaurant. this is pretty easy.

    >> it's very easy and also it's fairly inexpensive when you think about it. cabbage is a common vegetable that comes in the fall. fairly inexpensive, it's delicious.

    >> you're using several different parts of the cabbage . the big leaves and the center part.

    >> exactly. you need to remove the outside leaves because they are a bit bitter and you keep some of them like the big ones , that will be blanched. when you go inside the cabbage . you take more leaves and then you can slice them and slice them like that it's very simple. you just with a nice, do a nice julienne. and that will be blanched.

    >> when you say blanche, how long do you actually put the cabbage in there before overcooking it?

    >> so blanche means putting it in boiling water , salted water for four or five minutes, until it becomes very tender, like this one, for instance.

    >> and then i'm putting the fish in the big leaf that i have in the beginning that has been blanched. we put it, we do a little package like that.

    >> are you seasoning the fish at all before you put it in there?

    >> you add the salt and pepper before.

    >> that will go in the oven?

    >> that will go in the oven so the cabbage doesn't get dry. it goes into the oven for 12 minutes. with a little bit of water like that. i have some bacon that is cooking and is getting crispy. you see in the pan -- you have all the bacon carmelizing, that will give the flavor to my sauce. now removing the bacon that is crunchy. and removing the fat. but --

    >> but not scraping the fan too much.

    >> exactly. a little bit of chicken juice. a bit of white wine . like that. and then you emulsify it with a bit of butter.

    >> is there any way to mess this part up? i mean you're making it look easy.

    >> the liquid has to be hot, boiling and the butter has to be cold. and then it emulsifies together. you have some blanche cabbage that i have sliced before. some of the sauce goes on top of it like that.

    >> is it really that quick?

    >> like that. some of the sauce is here. i put some bacon back in the cabbage . then the fish is cooked. we are going to take the cabbage and put it in a ring mold. just for presentation, i mean if you don't have a ring mold, it's not a big deal . we just go like that.

    >> you could use an old cat food can?

    >> your cats are big. my cat, i have a small cat.

    >> right.

    >> the fish goes on top like that.

    >> and that only cooked for 12 minutes. what temperature?

    >> 400 degrees.

    >> and the remaining of the sauce like that, you see. we're going to pour it on top. just a little bit. and you have all the flavor of the bacon , without the fat.

    >> did you garnish that with a little extra bacon .

    >> look at that. a little bit of bacon on top. and --

    >> again, i'm not insulting you, but when i read this, i thought this really is easy and the entire thing would take 15 minutes , start to finish.

    >> hello, how are you.

    >> you would like to serve it to natalie and al and you serve it with tomatoes?

    >> they still are in season in the fall. and the tiny potatoes are also in season. they've just got harvested a few weeks ago, actually.

    >> and they're very cute.

    >> and delicious, too.

    >> this looks fantastic. eric repair, good to see you. and we're going to get you through fall allergy season in just a moment. but first, this is "today."

TODAY recipes
updated 9/13/2011 2:54:45 PM ET 2011-09-13T18:54:45

Recipe: Striped bass in savoy cabbage with bacon-butter sauce

  • 4 ounces smoked bacon, cut in to 1/4 inch wide strips
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup clam stock
  • 1 large head savoy cabbage
  • 4 (6 ounce) portions striped bass fillet
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 8 sprigs fresh chervil, optional

Place the bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Sauté until browned, and crisp about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the bacon onto a towel lined plate or tray and place all but 1 tablespoon into a medium-size saucepan. Add the wine to the saucepan, bring the wine to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and clam stock, lower the heat slightly and simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Strain the reduced stock into another clean saucepan and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Core the cabbage and remove the very green, outer leaves and discard. Pull off 4 very nice pale green leaves from the cabbage, trim off the tough center rib and set aside to blanch. Continue peeling the rest of the leaves of cabbage, reserving the core for another use. Cut the white, center rib out of each of the cabbage leaves. Stack 2 leaves together, roll the cabbage leaves and cut the cabbage leaves into 1 inch strips. Repeat with the remaining leaves.

Blanch the whole cabbage leaves in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water and set aside. Blanch the sliced cabbage in the boiling water until tender, about 1 minute; refresh under cold running water, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Evenly season the striped bass filets on both sides with salt and white pepper. Lay out the whole leaves of blanched cabbage, making sure to overlap where needed. Season the leaves with salt and pepper. Place a piece of fish in the center of each leaf of cabbage. Wrap each filet by folding in the edges of the cabbage. Place the cabbage bundles in a roasting dish and add just enough water to barely cover the bottom. Bake the cabbage bundles until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in the fish for 5 seconds, feels hot when touched to your lip, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the sauce to a simmer and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until fully emulsified. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm. Place the sliced cabbage in another saucepan and add half of the bacon sauce and the reserved crispy bacon. Warm the cabbage over medium heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, make oval-shaped beds of cabbage in the center of 4 large plates. Place the baked fish on top of the cabbage. Spoon the sauce over the fish and around the cabbage, to cover the plates. Garnish with chervil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Roasted baby potatoes

  • 2 pounds assorted baby potatoes, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and lightly crushed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the potatoes with olive oil, herbs, garlic in baking pan and season with salt and pepper and gently toss to coat evenly. Bake the potatoes 25-30 minutes until tender.

Serving Size

Serves 6

Recipe: Heirloom tomato salad with aged sherry vinegar

  • 1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, assorted sizes, shapes and colors
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the tomatoes: stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Core the heirloom tomatoes. Cut the smaller tomatoes in wedges. For the larger tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half and slice into ¼ inch thick slices.

Arrange the tomato slices on a large platter. Season the tomatoes with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Scatter the sliced garlic and torn basil over the tomatoes and drizzle the aged sherry vinegar and olive oil over the salad.

Serving Size

Serves 4

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