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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chilean Sea Bass with Polenta, Olives and Blood Orange

This is, admittedly, a bit fancier than I normally do. But heck, it was Valentine's Day, right ? I had been to the fish market this weekend and picked up some Chilean sea bass, it was so beautiful looking (and expensive), that I wanted to do something really special with it.I saw this recipe posted on another blog,, using halibut. I knew I could make it work with this sea bass.

The next challenge was what to serve on the side, and for some reason, polenta made sense to me. The original recipe recommended potatoes, but I wanted to make it my own. It was a really beautiful plate. And surprisingly easy! Pictures don't lie, it was impressive.

Chilean Sea Bass with Polenta, Olives and Blood Orange

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 fennel bulb thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3/4 cup sauvignon blanc (or any dry white wine)

1/2 cup orange juice

6 pieces orange peel, about 1-inch square

2-6 ounce Chilean sea bass filets

1 blood orange

1/2 cup large, mild green olives, pitted

4-5 bay leaves

Polenta (see recipe below)

In a large, oven proof saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the fennel until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and saute 1-2 more minutes, making sure not to brown the garlic. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute, then add the orange juice and peel, simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and place on top of the fennel mixture. Drizzle the fish with a little of the olive oil. Remove skin and pith from the blood orange, then slice cross-wise in 1/3-inch slices. Add the orange slices, olives and bay leaves to the pan, on top of and around the fish.
Roast, uncovered, in the oven until the fish is opaque, 15-25 minutes depending on thickness of the fish. To plate, put a large spoonful of polenta in the center of the plate. Place sea bass filet on top of the polenta, then surround with fennel, olives, blood orange and sauce, being careful not to scoop up any of the bay leaves or orange peel. Garnish with fennel fronds.


  1. It is beautiful! I like the blood oranges and fennel in the recipe. And I love chilean sea bass... such a velvety texture and wonderful flavor. Very nice.

  2. Looks tasty.

    This was a fish to avoid a few years back due to overfishing and other factors related to sustainability. I believe the above link says much the same thing about current conditions. There are fisheries that are certified "sustainable" and I'd be curious to see if that specific product is widely available.