My sweetie and I love to host dinner parties, connect personalities and people with same interests and try out new menus. This fall we put a few parties on our calendar. This party was by far the most precious! Why! Because I had a meeting at Anderson Seafoods to discuss an advertising program in the magazine I represent, La Cucina Italiana. When I mentioned that I was a food blogger, he kindly offered to send me some very fine and fresh seafood for my dinner party that weekend. I knew that my guests and I were going to enjoy something very special. I’ve documented here the play by play of this precious cargo.
Alberto from Anderson Seafoods asked what I would like for my dinner party and I told him to surprise me. When the box arrived, I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. The packaging alone was impressive. The seabass I found inside was ice cold from the dry ice that was still stingingly cold.
So now that I knew what I was serving for dinner the next day, I had to get to work on my menu.
I had just completed my Fall pizza class, and I had some ingredients still around that would make a great flatbread, so that was going to be our appetizer.
The last of the fall heirloom tomatoes were at the farmers markets, so the Caprese Salad I’d been serving since August was definitely on the menu. Then there was the main course. Fall to me means butternut squash and mushrooms.
I had picked up some top quality dried porcini mushrooms from Far West Fungi on my travels to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, so I thought this would be my moment to put them to good use. To stretch the intense taste of the porcini, I added some crimini mushrooms to the sauce that would top our precious seabass.
To round out my plate I would add some greens – spinach sauteed in olive oil would be perfect along with a garnish of crispy prosciutto.
This fish preparation would be delicious with any firm white fish. The technique of grilling the fish first, then finishing in the oven helps the fish cook evenly and prevents it from being overcooked. Dessert was my Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake I was testing for my Pie Class…click here to see the recipe.
Seabass with Porcini Mushroom Sauce
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 16 ounces crimini mushrooms or button mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 sprig thyme
- 8 6 oz. portions sea bass or firm white fish
- 1 Tbs olive oil
1. Soak dried porcini in 1 cup hot water in small bowl for 20 minutes or more.
2. Coat sea bass filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the sauce. Prepare grill and heat oven to 350°.
3. Slice crimini mushrooms. Heat 2 T olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add crimini mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms give off some liquid.
4. While mushrooms are cooking, drain porcini; reserve soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the porcini and add to the skillet along with minced garlic and thyme.
5. Strain porcini soaking liquid through cheesecloth or coffee liner to remove any sediment. Add to skillet. Bring mushroom sauce to a boil and let liquid evaporate to reduce. When mixture begins to thicken, turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Grill seabass to obtain grill marks on each side of the fish portions. Place on baking sheet and then into hot oven. Prepare plates with side dishes and reheat mushroom sauce. After about 8-10 minutes, remove fish from the oven and place on plate with side dishes. Top the seabass with the mushroom sauce.