Lemon Poached Pacifico Striped Bass with Pea Puree and Morel Mushrooms
Poaching is a delicious and healthy way to prepare striped bass while keeping it tender. In this dish, the striped bass mostly covered, but not submerged, in a fragrant broth of stock, lemon, fresh spring herbs, garlic, and peppercorns, and gently cooked while the broth simmers. The result is a moist, flaky piece of fish with fresh flavorful undertones.
2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
3 lemons, juiced and zested
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
4 6-ounce Pacifico fillets
2 cups fresh shelled peas (from 2 lb. peas in pod) or frozen peas, thawed
1 1/3 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed
1/3 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
24 small morel mushrooms or meaty mushroom, cleaned and trimmed, then sautéed in olive oil until tender
Edible flowers and Pea Tendrils to garnish
Cook peas in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Boil spinach and mint in same pot until wilted, 5-10 seconds. Transfer to bowl with peas. Reserve 1/2 cup ice water. Drain pea mixture well. Purée in a blender, adding reserved ice water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is too thick. Add oil and sugar; purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
Bring all of the ingredients in the poaching liquid to a simmer in a 4 qt stockpot. While the poaching liquid heats up, season both sides of the striped bass fillets with salt. Reduce heat to low and add the striped bass to the pan. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flaky.
To serve: Rewarm the pea puree add more water if necessary to get the consistency of a thick milkshake. Divide the puree onto four individual plates, placing a piece of the striped bass slightly off center onto the puree. Garnish with the mushrooms, pea tendrils and flowers.