125g/4oz haricots vert (green beans)
125g/4oz fresh mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, horse, etc.)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic
freshly ground pepper
1 small red chilli
1 whole sea bass, gutted and cleaned weighing approximately 450g/1lb or
2 sea bass fillets (approximately 150g/5oz each)
¼ fresh lemon, juice only
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh tarragon
170ml/6fl oz fish stock
115ml/3½fl oz sweet sherry
fresh chives (optional)
fresh chervil (optional)
fresh seasonal flowers (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Half fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Trim the beans. In a saucepan of boiling salted water blanch the beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the icy water. Drain well and pat dry.
Brush the mushrooms to remove any grit. Thickly slice the mushrooms.
Finely mince the garlic. Chop the shallots and set aside. De-seed and finely chop the red chilli and set aside.
In a large saucepan melt 1 tbsp of butter over a medium heat and cook the garlic and mushrooms, stirring, until most of liquid given off by the mushrooms has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender.
In a small saucepan, heat the fish stock and sherry and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
In a gratin dish toss together the beans and mushrooms, add sea salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the beans and mushrooms around the outer edge of the dish.
Fillet the sea bass and remove the skin from the fillets. Arrange the sea bass fillets in the dish about an 2.5cm/1in apart and drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle the fillets with thyme, tarragon, sea salt and pepper. Pour the stock/sherry mixture down the side of the dish, taking care not to disturb the fillets. Sprinkle the shallots and red chilli over the fillets and vegetables.
Brush one side of a piece of parchment paper with butter and place the parchment, buttered side down, on top of the fillets. Bake the fillets in middle of the oven until just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
Carefully tilt the gratin dish and pour the cooking liquid into a small saucepan. Reduce the liquid by half and then remove from the heat. Whisk in 4-5 knobs of cold butter, one at a time.
Serve the fish and vegetables. Garnish with fresh chives, chervil and fresh seasonal flowers.
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