19 March 2010

Cumin Crusted Chilean Sea Bass and Polenta with Peas and Pancetta

Forrest loves Chilean Sea Bass, but it's hard to find locally.  He lucked out on a recent visit to Whole Foods and came home with a beautiful piece of fish.  When enjoyed with a Patagonia Pinot Noir, this was a special treat!

Cumin Crusted Chilean Sea Bass
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) Chilean sea bass filets (about 1 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook cumin seeds in a large skillet over medium heat 2 minutes or until toasted. Place cumin, salt, and pepper in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Rub cumin mixture over top and bottom sides of fillets.

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add fillets; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Wrap handle of pan with foil. Bake at 375° for 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.

Polenta with Peas and Pancetta
Adapted from Food Network

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 slices pancetta cut as thick as bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup quick cooking polenta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
A couple handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oil in sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, 5 minutes then remove to a plate. Add the liquids to the sauce pot and bring to boil. Whisk polenta into the liquid and continue to whisk 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and stir in peas to heat through 1 minute more. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and adjust seasoning. Garnish with pancetta.