With a one-year old, we rarely get to go out to dinner these days, but that’s no reason to not treat ourselves to a star quality home-made meal. On this warm summer evening, I wanted to conjure up memories of our beach vacations before we had the baby.
Having a child is like meditating on time. Time moves at a syncopated pace. In a blink of an eye my quiet, immobile infant is a babbling toddler cruising about on his own two feet. Then there are mornings when I’m at home with him and he’s awake at 6:30am, eyes glistening and bright, ready to run for president. I change his diaper, feed him oatmeal, we play with his blocks, stacking cups, do laps around the living room on the walker, read all the books that he’s knocked off the shelf, and I look over at the clock and can’t believe my eyes. It’s only 8:30, but I’m sooo ready to put him down for a nap. When my child’s asleep, I feel like the world is open to all kinds of possibilities again and my daydreams start to develop into reality.
So after we tucked the little guy in bed and kissed him on the forehead, my husband poured the wine, and I threw together fresh corn, grape tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and basil to accompany fillets of wild striped bass. Soon, we were transported to a beach side resort on the Mediterranean coast.
Wild Striped Bass with Tomatoes, Corn, Basil and Fennel
2 wild striped bass fillets (6-8 oz each)
Coarse Kosher Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Shallot, finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes*
1/2 C. dry White Wine
1 ear of corn, kernels scraped off
1 C. Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 lime, juiced
Handful of Basil Leaves, chopped
Fennel fronds, chopped
1. Heat a medium skillet with olive oil over medium-high. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper. Sear the fillets skin side down for 4 minutes or when the skin is brown and is nice and crispy, but the fish is not cooked through. Turn the fish over and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Add shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring until the shallots are tender and begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add wine, corn, tomatoes to the pan. Add the fish, skin side up. Cook for 4 minutes or when the fish is cooked through. Garnish with basil leaves and fennel fronds. Then, ladle the corn and tomatoes into a shallow bowl, place the fish, skin side up, on top, sprinkle with the remaining herbs, and enjoy!
*Depending on your tolerance for heat, use as little or as much red pepper flakes.