Jasper White's Striped Bass Poached in Saffron Broth with Fennel and Potatoes
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2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bulb fennel, halved, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices, fronds reserved
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 leeks sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced in ¼-inch slices, washed and spun dry
½ teaspoon saffron
3 whole star anise
1½ cup white wine like Vouvray
1½ quart low-sodium chicken stock
Zest and juice of one orange
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
2 6-to-8 ounce center-cut striped bass fillets, skinless, cut on a bias
1 large or 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, squared and cut into ½-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the oil, fennel, garlic and leeks. Sweat for about one minute. Add the saffron and star anise. Then deglaze with the wine and add the stock. Add the orange zest and bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the thyme leaves and fish, then the potatoes, making sure that the fish is submerged. The temperature of the broth will drop. Allow the fish to cook at just below a simmer, where the steam vapors are visible, but the water isn’t quite simmering. Cook about 12 minutes or until the fish and potatoes are just cooked through.
To plate: Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the fish to a serving platter. Add the juice of the orange to the broth. Surround the fish with the vegetables. Ladle the broth around the fish. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds and serve immediately.
Tip: Store any leftover fish in the strained broth. The cold fish may be served on a salad.
Chateau de Montfort VouvrayLight pale green-gold color with aromas of Granny Smith apples with a hint of stoney minerality. Refreshing demi-sec style with great fruit and intense, lively acidity