Wild sea bass with new potatoes and a champagne sauce
For the samphire and new potatoes
- 225g/8oz samphire
- 500g/1lb 2oz medium new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- olive oil
- 175g/6oz smoked streaky bacon, chopped into lardons
- 125g/4½oz broad beans, podded
- large knob of unsalted butter
- freshly ground black pepper
For the wild sea bass
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 700-900g/1lb 9oz-2 lb sea bass, descaled, pin bones removed and cut into 4 fillets
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
For the champagne and brown shrimp sauce
For the samphire, strip the fronds from the main stalks and wash thoroughly. Blanch the stalks in boiling water for 30 seconds. Refresh in cold water, drain and set aside.
Put the new potatoes in a large pan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook until just tender, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add a little olive oil. Fry the shallots and garlic for a minutes then add the bacon and cook for a few minutes more. Add the potatoes, shaking the pan to make sure the potatoes are coloured all over. Add the samphire, broad beans and the butter.
Season with pepper, tossing thoroughly to make sure everything is heated through.
For the sea bass, preheat the grill to high. Line a baking tray with tin foil
Score the skin of the sea bass fillets being careful not to cut too deeply into the flesh.
Season the flesh side of the fish with salt and pepper. Arrange the fish skin-side up on the prepared tray. Brush the skin with olive oil, and place the fillets under the grill. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the skin has blackened and the flesh is just cooked.
For the sauce, melt 50g/1¾oz of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the vegetables and fry gently until just softened but not coloured.
Add half the champagne and cook until reduced in volume to a syrupy consistency. Add the stock and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add the cream and simmer to reduce by half.
Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan and then over a low heat whisk in the remaining butter. Just before serving, stir in the shrimp and carefully warm the sauce until everything is heated through. Stir in the remaining champagne and check the seasoning.
To serve, put the new potatoes on a large serving plate. Top with the sea bass and pour over the sauce.