Recipe courtesy of Steven Roginski

Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Citrus Poached Mussels, Chayote Squash, Avocado Cilantro Salad, and Blue Crab Essence

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Mussels:

2 orange peels

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

16 mussels

1 1/2 cups white wine

Citrus Emulsion:

2 oranges, juiced

Reserved mussel liquid

1/2 pound butter, cut into small pieces

Blue Crab Essence:

4 live blue crabs

1 quart fish fumet or water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 pound butter

Avocado Salad:

1 avocado, julienned and tossed in lemon juice

12 cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Chayote Squash:

3 tablespoons butter

2 chayote squash*, cut into small dice (See Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Chilean Sea Bass:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 (6 to 8-ounce) fillets Chilean sea bass, striped bass, or halibut

Directions

  1. Mussels:  Toast orange peels in a large, dry skillet or saucepan (with a lid that fits) until fragrant. Add olive oil and then onions, and saute over high heat for 30 seconds. Add mussels and stir them around a little. Add wine and cover with the lid; cook until mussels have opened, approximately 3 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid. Remove mussels from shells, reserve mussels, and discard shells. 
  2. Citrus Emulsion: Combine orange juice and reserved mussel liquid in a small saucepan. Reduce liquid over medium-high heat until it takes on the consistency of a syrup. While still hot, add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring constantly. Keep warm. 
  3. Blue Crab Essence: Carefully drop crabs into a pot of rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes. Prepare an ice water bath. Drain crabs and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to halt the cooking. Pull all of the meat out of the claws and set aside. Crack crabs in half, discard anything that looks funky, rinse them, and reserve the shells. 
  4. Bring fish fumet (or water) to a simmer in a saucepan. Add crab shells and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine chinois into another saucepan, discarding crab shells. To the liquid, add cream and butter. Keep warm. 
  5. Avocado Salad: Toss all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
  6. Chayote Squash: Heat butter in a skillet over high heat. Add squash and cilantro and saute until tender. Keep warm until ready to serve. 
  7. Chilean Sea Bass: Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over high heat. When pan is very hot, add fish and sear on each side until fully cooked through in the middle. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your fillets, but it should not take more than a couple minutes on each side. You may have to sear the fish in 2 batches so as not to over-crowd the pan. 
  8. While fish is cooking, reheat mussels in the Citrus Emulsion and reheat the crabmeat in butter. 
  9. To serve, spoon the Citrus Emulsion onto the middle of the plate, in a circle and spoon chayote on top. Arrange fish on top of chayote, and top fish with the Avocado Salad. Garnish with 4 mussels tightly around the chayote. With an immersion blender, froth the Blue Crab Essence. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the essence around the plate, and place the crabmeat next to the froth. 

Cook’s Note

If you cannot find chayote squash, you can substitute green apple.