We just returned to reality from Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.
To sum it up simply, we had a blast last week. My husband borrowed a small boat from a friend, which we were able to dock right at our house. His goal? Catch enough fish for one meal during the week we were at Smith Mountain Lake.
- 6 striped bass fillets, 1″ thick, skin on
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil + ¼ cup for the pan
- 1 lemon, juiced & zested
- 2 Clementines, juiced & zested
- 1 teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white wine (make sure it tastes good enough to drink)
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Place the bass fillets skin side down in a baking dish large enough to hold them without overlapping too much.
- Whisk together ½ cup olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt with the remaining ingredients (except the sliced lemon) and pour the marinade over the bass, taking care to make sure each piece gets coated. Lay the lemon slices on top, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
- Take the bass out of the fridge 15 minutes before you’re ready to cook and pat the skin dry. Set aside on a plate to rest.
- Heat a large sautée pan over medium-high heat and add the ¼ cup olive oil. Rub the bottom of a medium sautée pan (yes, the bottom - trust Anne Burrell me here) with just enough olive oil to lightly coat it. Pour the marinade into a small sauce pot, add ¼ teaspoon salt, and heat until bubbly over medium while you sear the fillets.
- When the large pan’s good and hot, add 3 of the fillets – skin side down. Place the medium pan on top of the fillets and press down gently. This keeps the bass from curling up, helping the skin get good and crispy. Cook for 4 minutes and then remove the medium pan. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, then use a spatula to gently flip the fillets. Finish cooking for 2 more minutes and then remove from the pan.
- Repeat the searing process with the remaining 3 bass fillets, and serve with the warmed marinade.