Poached Black Bass in a Rich Nage
This dish was created by chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in Manhattan.
FOR THE NAGE:
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 ribs celery, halved crosswise
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 bulb fennel, halved
1 carrot, peeled, trimmed, and halved
1 small rip tomato, cored
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tbsp. fine sea salt
1 tbsp. white peppercorns
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
FOR THE FISH:
4 6-oz. filets black bass
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
1 small rip tomato, peeled, cored, seeded, and
cut into 1/2" x 1 1/2" batons
5 small scallions, dark green part only, cut into
4"-long pieces, blanched, rinsed under cold water,
and halved lengthwise
2 2"-long thin slices peeled ginger, finely julienned,
blanched, and rinsed under cold water
1 lemon, trimmed of peel, pith, and membrane;
segments cut out
12 small leaves cilantro
1. For the nage: Put garlic, celery, onions, fennel, carrots, tomato, bay leaf, fennel sees, coriander seeds, salt, peppercorns, wine, vinegar, and 4 quarts water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 5 cups, 3-3 1/2 hours. Let cool. Strain through a chinois or a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.
2. For the fish: Bring 4 cups of the nage to a simmer in a large skillet over medium heat. Score skin of each bass in 4 places, then season fish with salt and pepper. Poach bass in the simmering nage until just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
3. Bring remaining cup of nage to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; whisk in butter, 1 tbsp. at a time, whisking until butter melts and sauce is slightly thick and emulsified, 3-4 minutes.
4. To serve, transfer fish with a slotted spatula to each of 4 warm plates skin side up, discarding nage. Arrange tomatoes, scallions, ginger, lemon segments, and cilantro around fish. Divide sauce between plates, pouring it around fish.