Striped Bass in 'Saor'
FOR THE GARNISH:
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1 leek, white part only, finely julienned
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, washed and dried
FOR THE SAUCE:
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. dry red wine
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tbsp. golden raisins
1 tsp. orange zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 8-oz. striped bass filets, with skin
1. For the garnish: Heat vegetable oil in a small heavy saucepan over high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Place half the leeks in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and repeat with remaining leeks. Add parsley, fry for 10 seconds, and remove immediately. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
2. For the sauce: Cook onions in 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, until soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar, wine, sugar, pine nuts, raisins, orange zest, and another 1 tbsp. of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear fish skin-side-down in remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. (Don't allow oil to reach smoke point; fish will curl.) Turn fish and sear 1 minute more.
4. To serve, spoon half the onion mixture onto each plate and place fish on top, skin side up. Garnish with fried leeks and parsley leaves.