Sea Bass with Date, Bacon & Sherry Broth

Lick-ably Delicious Seared Sea Bass and Date-Bacon-Sherry Broth

Plates were licked in the clean-up of this meal.
Eater rating: 4.9 / 5  4.85

We’re eating seared local white sea bass with a roasted date, smoky bacon, toasted almond and sherry broth served with crusty seedy sourdough baguette.

Living three blocks from the ocean in San Diego definitely has its perks – fresh local fish is high on this list. Unfortunately with that close proximity to the ocean comes the transitional “May Gray and June Gloom.” In other words, it’s cool and cloudy nearly every day during these months while most of the country is enjoying a toasty warm summer. I really can’t bitch too much about the weather here, mainly because for the other 10 months it’s sunny and warm, but dammit if I don’t miss the humid sweltering summer heat of the South. Without the heat I continue to cook meals like this well into the summer when most people think that turning on a stove or an oven sounds like the worst idea ever! Regardless of the weather, both T and I thought this was an outrageously delicious preparation of fish and couldn’t get enough of the accompanying sauce, which was sopped up with crusty seedy sourdough bread. If you can stand the heat, get in the kitchen and make this dish! You won’t be sorry, I promise. 🙂

A Sea Bass Recipe, by Amanda
Seared Sea Bass with Roasted Date, Bacon, Almond and Sherry Broth

For the sauce:
12 pitted medjool dates, cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp canola oil
3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp sherry (optional)
1 cup chicken or fish stock
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the fish:
4 (4 to 6 oz) filets of sea bass or halibut
2 tbsp canola oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For serving:
1 crusty sourdough baguette, heated in the oven and sliced

To make the sauce:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dates onto a baking dish or sheet pan and drizzle with 1 tsp canola oil. Toss to coat. Set aside.

Add diced bacon to a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Cook bacon until most of the fat has rendered out, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

After the bacon has cooked for about 5 minutes, place the prepared dates into the 350 degree oven. Roast dates for 7 minutes, then turn off oven. Leave dates in oven until ready to add to the sauce.

Once most of the fat has rendered out of the bacon, add the diced onion, a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to the saute pan. Saute onion and bacon for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the almonds to the pan and stir. Saute the almond-bacon mixture for another 4 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the almonds turn golden. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.

Deglaze the pan with the sherry and sherry vinegar, stirring to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock to the pan, stir, raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove dates from oven and add to simmering sauce. Stir. Remove sauce from heat. Add parsley to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Taste sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

To sear the fish:
As soon as the dates go into the oven, place a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Preheat pan for 3 minutes. While pan is preheating, season all sides of fish with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Add canola oil to the preheated pan, turning the pan to coat the bottom with oil. Once the oil ripples with heat, add the seasoned fish fillets to the pan, serving side-down. (Note: The first side of any meat that touches the pan will get the best sear so always place the prettier side of the meat/fish directly onto the heat first.) Sear fish for 3 to 4 minutes until a golden crust has formed on the bottom of the fish and the flesh releases itself from the pan. If the fish sticks to the pan at all and resists flipping, the fish is not ready yet. Flip and saute fish for another approximately 4 minutes or until just cooked through and opaque in the middle.

To serve:
Remove fish from heat. Place 1 fillet in the middle of a large plate or bowl. Top fish with 1/4 of the sauce and serve with a couple large slices of seedy sourdough bread. Repeat plating 3 more times for a total of 4 servings.

14 comments so far:

  1. Wow, this looks amazing.

  2. David/Ocean Pines, MD says:

    Can’t wait to make this….

  3. Susan @ SGCC says:

    Another winner! This looks awesome! I love love love that broth!

  4. Amanda says:

    Thanks, Kalyn, David & Susan!! 🙂

  5. peabody says:

    Oh my, I love me anything topped with bacon.

  6. Amanda says:

    we have that in common, peabody! if it’s got bacon – i’m sooo there! 😉

  7. leena! says:

    This sounds awesome, and I was just telling Adam the other day how we need to cook more fish dishes. It combines two of my favorite flavors in the world, dates and bacon! Can’t wait to try this out.

  8. Natalie says:

    Looks Delicious. Cannot wait to make this. Love anything with bacon.

  9. Hello, just saw your photo at food porn daily- nice… sherry date and bass, love the flavor balance.

  10. Nicole says:

    Looks amazing!

  11. Natalie says:

    This looks fantastic and d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!

  12. Anna says:

    Made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! It really does make you want to lick the plate…which I did.

  13. I’m smitten with this recipe, Amanda! I adore bacon wrapped dates, and this is like a delicious, upscale extension of them. I have got to try this!

  14. OH MY, this looks and sounds so up my alley… great flavor combo- nice photo, really nice