There is no doubt in my mind that I love food! Nevertheless I’m very very particular or judgmental when I eat out. For the dishes I love, I’ll savor it bite by bite, slowly analyzing the flavours in my mouth, sniffing at my food (yes, I do that in public :p), and trying my best to decode the dish and thinking how I can replicate it at home. I’m always excited to try foreign ingredients, always curious about that unpronounceable exotic spice on the menu.
But I have my biases, which includes fish! No words can express my love for fish dishes. If a restaurant ruined my fish, that restaurant is blacklisted forever in my book. I know, I’m very judgmental and this is bad.
Fish is so good for you, full of healthy fat and lean protein. You probably heard from numerous sources that you are supposed to be eating fish at lease twice a week. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acid that’s supper beneficial to your heart health and brain development. There are many concerns about the contaminants and sustainability of fishing, but as long as you stay away from most farmed fish and canned/processed fish, you are in good hands.
Another reason why I love fish is that fish is the easiest animal protein to cook. On a busy day, or a lazy day like today, when I don’t feel like spending all my free time in the kitchen (which is a rare moment), I cook fish for dinner. The truth is, we took a break from cooking and went for a nice winter hike to the Ball’s falls in the Niagara conservation area.
This dish is SOO simple and the flavors are incredible! My not-so-secret secret to a good fish dish is get skin-on fish fillets whenever possible. The skin packs so much more flavor and texture when cooked. This recipe works for any type of fish, I used Chilean sea bass because I have been craving its buttery and rich flavor.
Very random personal thing to share: I love cooking my meat with skin-on for that extra flavor and fat underneath the skin, but I don’t like the fattiness of skin in my mouth. I’m really a weirdo…
Pan Seared Sea Bass
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: romantic dinner for 2
- 2 (6-ounce) center cut fillets Chilean sea bass
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 springs fresh thyme
- 300 grams assorted mushrooms, thinly sliced (shiitake, cremini & oyster mushroom is what I used)
- 1 package (350 gram) baby spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and pat dry the sea bass fillet using paper towel, then season the sea bass with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat to really hot (almost smoking). Gently place the sea bass in the pan, skin side down and pressing down with a spatula so the skin wont curl up. Add the springs of thyme to the pan and let the fish cook to being about ¾ done, about 5 minutes. (Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of fillet)
- Carefully flip the fillets over and cook for another minute or two. You should have a nice golden-brown, crispy skin and completely opaque center.
- Remove the sea bass from skillet and place in somewhere warm.
- In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil, sauté minced garlic until fragrant. This will only take a couple of minutes. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, and sauté until all the water has came out and lightly browned.
- Add the spinach to the mushrooms, season with more salt and pepper. Stir quickly as spinach will wilt fast.
- To serve, shape the spinach and mushroom using a cookie ring and finish with the sea bass.