To prep artichokes, use a serrated knife and cut off outer leaves to the tender yellow/pale leaves. Trim the bottom and spoon out the 'hair'. Trim the stem to the heart. Quarter the artichoke with stem on. In a pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the prepped artichokes to al dente, about 10 minutes and shock in ice water. Set aside. To make the sauce, use a hot non-reactive sauce pan coated with oil and sautee garlic, ginger, and leeks until soft, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the artichokes and tomatoes then deglaze with vinegar and reduce by 80 per cent. Add the butter and stir in. Check for seasoning. Meanwhile pre-heat an oven to 425 degrees. In a very hot skillet coated with oil, pan sear the seasoned fish until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes a side. Transfer to oven and roast for 5 minutes or until a skewer can easily penetrate the fish.
In a saucepan, add potatoes and fill with cold water. Add a little salt. Slowly boil potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes until potatoes come cleanly off of a pairing knife. In another hot saucepan coated with oil, caramelize garlic than add thyme and cream. Reduce cream by 30 per cent. In a large stainless steel bowl, add hot potatoes and garlic cream. Hand mash together. Add butter, salt and pepper and check for seasoning. Keep warm.
PLATING Place a mound of mash in the center of a plate. Surround with the artichoke/vinegar sauce. Place bass on top and garnish with chives.
Wine Recommendation: Marimar Torres, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 1997
Copyright 1999, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved