Sea Bass, curly kale and herby hollandaise

Seabass

This recipe was kindly supplied by Elizabeth Caton, a caterer based in Hove.  She will be receiving a bottle of our wine match - Bourgogne Blanc 2008, Jean-Marc Brocard

`Sea Bass has a delicate flavour and texture, and is deemed to be reasonably sustainable if line-caught. 

Some people who have never tried making hollandaise before can find it a slightly daunting prospect. This method, however, reduces the risk of scrambling the yolks. The other danger of hollandaise is that as it's an unstable emulsion. If it sits for too long it can split, so it is a good idea to make it just before serving. If it does need to be held for a while, it can be put into a jug sitting in a bowl of warm water.

Kale goes very well with this dish- make sure you don't cook it for too long so that it retains a slight bite to contrast with the softness of the fish. We find that the richness of the hollandaise makes up for the lack of carbohydrates, but if you don't agree then either mashed or sautéed potatoes would go very well.'

Serves 6
Oven- 220° 

1 x 1.5 kg Sea Bass, cleaned, scaled and gutted (Your fishmonger will be happy to do this for you)
500g curly kale 

For the hollandaise

4 egg yolks
220g unsalted butter (It's important to use unsalted butter or your hollandaise will be too salty)
1 - 2 lemons
Bunch tarragon
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
6 black peppercorns
Salt and pepper 

Season the sea bass with salt and pepper. Place half of the tarragon in the belly cavity, along with a few slices of lemon. Wrap it in greased foil and place it in the oven for around thirty minutes. When the fish is done the flesh will feel flaky when pressed lightly. It is important not to overcook, so test after it has been in the oven for around twenty minutes.

Roughly chop the remaining tarragon

Boil a pan of water for the kale. Cook until tender - about 5 minutes- drain and keep warm. When ready to serve, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Put the egg yolks and salt into a blender and whiz until the yolks look like they are beginning to thicken.

Put the vinegar, water, peppercorns and mace into a small saucepan and reduce until only a tablespoonful remains. This will produce some fairly powerful fumes!  Once the liquid has reduced enough, add half a tablespoon to the yolks and whiz again.

Meanwhile melt the butter gently. Do not let it brown. When it has melted pour it into the blender in a thin, steady stream, blending all the time. When all the butter has been incorporated and the hollandaise has thickened, transfer to a bowl.

Stir the tarragon into the hollandaise and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve Sea Bass with curly kale and herby hollandaise.

We hope you enjoy this as much as we did last night - thank you Lizzie!

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