Striped Bass with Oyster Stew
Afraid of Flavor
and Karen Barker
of North Carolina Press, 2000.
one time, striped bass flourished in the Pamlico Sound on North
coast. Overfishing and pollution seriously diminished the bass
however, resulting in severe restrictions on their commercial harvest.
Through better fisheries management, there has been a resurgence in the
bass population on the East Coast, and we are now regularly able to
this delicious fish at the restaurant.
preparation accentuates the terrific
crispness that can be achieved by searing the skin side first. In the
the fish are particularly fatty from a summer of feeding, and this
protects the flesh from overcooking and drying out.
the bass with the first oysters
of autumn and accompany with tomato gumbo and Beanie's cornbread.
ingredients for the
6 wild striped bass or rockfish filets (6 ounces each), skin on and
and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
softened at room temperature
oil for sauteing
ingredients for the
pint shucked oysters
ounces country ham, sliced thin
and cut into 1/4-inch dice
tablespoons peanut oil
cup onion, cut into small dice
cup red bell pepper, seeded and
cut into small dice
cup celery, cut into small dice
tablespoons garlic, minced
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
tablespoons lemon juice
cup white wine
1/2 cups roasted chicken stock
tablespoons heavy cream
tablespoons unsalted butter
tablespoon chopped sage
black pepper, and lemon juice
cup scallions, sliced crosswise
(use both white and green parts)
preparation for the
Strain the oysters and reserve the oyster liquor; refrigerate the
until ready to use for final assembly. In a medium saucepan, cook the
in the peanut oil until lightly caramelized. Add the onion, red bell
and celery and cook until caramelized. Add the garlic, red pepper
and bay leaf; cook 1 minute.
Add the bourbon, lemon juice, wine, and reserved oyster liquor. Cook
greatly reduced and nearly syrupy, stirring frequently. Add the roasted
chicken stock and simmer over medium heat, skimming as necessary, until
reduced by half. Cool and reserve until preparing the bass.
Remove the bass from refrigeration and dry thoroughly with paper
With a sharp knife, score an X in the
side to prevent it from curling
when the fish is cooking. Season the flesh side with salt and pepper;
side with some of the softened
If serving with tomato gumbo, heat
the gumbo and stir in the cooked rice as indicated in the last step of
Keep warm. Return the stew
to low heat and add the heavy cream; bring to a slow simmer.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over
medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add a film of peanut oil, then
in the pan, skin side down.
Reduce the heat to medium and press firmly on the filets with the back
spatula to flatten slightly
and aid in the searing; cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness
When the edges of the filets
begin to show doneness, turn carefully and cook 1 minute longer. Remove
and keep warm.
Raise the heat on the stew to medium-high,
stir in the oysters and butter, and cook just until the oysters are
and beginning to curl. Remove
from the heat, stir in the sage, and season with salt, black pepper, and
juice to taste.
Warm 6 wide, shallow bowls. If
serving with tomato gumbo, spoon 3/4 cup of gumbo in the center of each
a filet in each bowl, on top
of the gumbo, if used. Spoon the stew around the filets, dividing the
between the bowls. Sprinkle
liberally with scallions and serve immediately.
to the Book
Vidalia Onion and
Smoked Salmon with
Piccalilli and Buttermilk Herb Crackers
Green Tomato Soup with Crab & Country Ham
Grilled Shrimp with Grits
Cake, Country Ham, and Redeye Vinaigrette
Beef Tenderloin in a
Cabernet Sauce with Roquefort and Summer Vegetable Chopped Salad
Bass with Oyster Stew
of the Triangle