Chilean seabass is a delicious, white meat, firm-fleshed fish. The flesh is quite attractive when fileted, but it's not an attractive fish when whole and unbutchered! In fact, it's not really a seabass at all, that's just the name it is marketed under. The actual name is Patagonian Toothfish which is not very appealing from a marketing standpoint! But it is one of my favorite fish lately (it ranks right up there with grouper). I personally prefer Chilean seabass seasoned and then pan-seared with olive oil the best.
I chose to season my Chilean seabass for this recipe with sundried tomato powder, sea salt, and black pepper, then drizzled and pan seared with a roasted garlic and sundried tomato infused EVOO. I served it over pasta with a tarragon alla vodka cream sauce using a scratch-made roasted tomato and roasted garlic puree.
One 10-12 ounce filet of Chilean seabass, cut in half
1/2 tsp sundried tomato powder Recipe - Sundried tomato powder or granules
EVOO Recipe - Sundried tomato and roasted garlic infused olive oil
Ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
2 cups of roasted garlic/roasted tomato puree Recipe - Roasted tomato and garlic purée (for pasta sauce base)
1/4 cup diced onion
2-3 ounces of good vodka (I used Ketel One)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Red pepper flakes
Premium sliced cherry tomatoes, for garnish
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Parmesan cheese (if desired)
Pasta of choice
Season the fish on both sides with the tomato powder, salt, and pepper, then drizzle with EVOO, coating the fish thoroughly. Use an oven safe dish for marinating the fish. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before cooking.
Sautee the onion in a medium sized sauce pan in 1 tbsp butter and some of the EVOO until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
Add some red pepper flakes and the vodka. Allow the vodka to reduce by about half, then add the roasted tomato/roasted garlic puree. For a smoother sauce, use a stick blender to puree the onions into the sauce. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and tarragon, simmer for a few more minutes and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce the heat to warm.
Sear the fish filets in a hot cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Put the fish back into the marinade dish and keep in the oven on 225F to rest and finish until ready to plate.
Cook pasta according to package directions (but undercooking by a few minutes), and drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Add the desired amount of sauce to the pasta pan and finish cooking to the desired consistency.
Plate the pasta (adding more sauce and some parmesan cheese, if desired), then place fish atop the pasta carefully, as the fish will slide apart in sections when perfectly cooked. Garnish with fresh parsley and sliced cherry tomatoes.