When I visited Sam's site today to see her hosting-posting for WBW #25, French Fizz, I realized I shoud share the recipe that I made up to accompany the Champagne. I too, shunned the blinis and caviar, and went with something I thought would be more imaginative. The trick for this recipe is not too go overboard on any of the aromatics. Keep it subtle and it won't kill the nuances of the fine champagne.
Thai Scented Sea Bass
For 2 servings
for 2-6 oz. Sea Bass Fillets
Prep the white parts from 2 leeks, small julienne, around 3" long by 1/16th" set aside
Prep 1 celery stem the same size julienne as the leeks and set aside.
Peel (don't roast and peel, use a peeler) 1/2 of a nice organic Red Pepper. Julienne like the other vegs.
Prep 1 clove garlic smashed a thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled and julienned very fine.
In a small saucepan, cook the smashed white ends of 2 lemongrass stems and a tablespoon or so of julienned ginger with 1 cup of white wine. Simmer this for 20 minutes or so gently, as if you're making a strong scented tea. This is your braising liquid.
Fire up your rice cooker and make some nice Jasmine Rice with a little butter and salt. 1-1/2 cups of raw rice is good for 2 with leftovers.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the leeks in some butter/olive oil with generous salt until very soft. Remove from pan set aside. On a medium flame, cook the celery and peppers until soft, around 5 minutes in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.
Add the 2 6-oz. fillets of Sea Bass to the pan and roll them around in the vegs and oil/butter until covered. Pass the braising liquid through a sieve into the pan and bring to a boil. Top the fish with a parchment paper "hat" or maybe some foil over the pan. Braise in the oven for 10-12 minutes. For service, place a cup or so of jasmine rice in generous soup bowls and divide the fish, broth and veggies between the bowls.
If you have a little shichimi pepper (Japanese pepper) that's great on the rice to give it a little kick.
Email me at thecorkdork (at symbol) gmail.com if you make this. I would love to hear from someone who actually tried my recipes! CD