Re-creating Executive Chef Grant Morgan's pan roasted loup de mer isn't as difficult as it sounds. The trickiest part may be finding and then cleaning your seabass. Once that's out of the way, it should be smooth sailing.
2 ea. (or 4 filets) Whole Loup de Mer (Branzini) scales removed
2 oz. Olive Oil
½ ea. White Onion (sliced thin)
½ ea. Fennel Bulb ((sliced thin) reserve tops (optional)
4 ea. Garlic Cloves (sliced thin)
12 oz. Fire Roasted Piquillo Peppers (sliced thin)
TT Sea Salt
3 oz. Arugula (washed)
3 oz. Opal basil
1 ea. garlic clove
TT sea salt
½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
For the fish:
Clean and filet fish, removing pin bones. Place skin side up uncovered on a tray and allow to dry in the refrigerator while preparing other ingredients.
For the piperade:
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and fennel and allow to sweat for approximately 30 minutes. Add sliced garlic and salt. Cook an additional 5 minutes and fold in piquillo peppers and arugula. Reserve.
For the basil puree:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch basil for 5 seconds, Shock in ice water and drain well. Place in blender with garlic and salt. Blend while streaming in oil. Reserve.
Heat a heavy bottom sauté pan and add 3 oz. olive oil over med/high heat. Season fish and place skin side down in pan, pressing lightly to ensure crisp skin. Turn heat to med/low and allow to cook on skin side for approximately 6 min or until it appears 80 percent done. Baste fish with residual oil in the pan until done. Remove from pan and squeeze fresh lemon over each piece. Place a bed of piperade on serving dish and lay fish on top. Garnish with opal basil puree on the plate and fennel tops if using. Enjoy!