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Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato-Basil Sauce

 My wife is spoiled.

This revelation dawned on me the other morning.  As usual, I was up quite some time before she.  At about 7:00, the phone rang.  “Who could be calling so early?” I asked.

Then my phone announced, “Call from: Thomas Morris.” 

Yep.  Jenn was calling from the bed to dial in an order for coffee.

Our house is less than 1500 square feet, and one level.

It’s my own fault, I suppose. No one to blame but myself.  The problem is that my revelation came far too late in our marriage to do me any good. 

Worse still, she’s decided that this dialing in orders is kind of fun, and can be applied to many different situations.  So now I’m not so much in charge of dinner as I am in charge of making what she would like for dinner.  Last night, she wanted sea bass.

Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato-Basil Sauce

This is a lightly-seasoned dish that lets the flavor of the fish come through.  Whatever you do, don’t use a heavy hand with the salt and pepper.

What You Need

1 lb Chilean sea bass
2 medium tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced
2-3 basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 shallot, chopped (about 1/8 cup)
2 tbsp olive oil (I prefer the flavor of Italian to Spanish)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp lemon juice
black pepper

What To Do With It

Preheat an oven to 400.  If you’ve got the time, put your tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, a HEALTHY pinch of salt, basil and shallot in the pan and bake for 30 minutes.  If not, combine all that with a little water in a sauce pan and cook it down until the tomatoes have almost disintegrated (you don’t want much liquid left at all).

Cut your fish into two fillets and remove the skin.  After rinsing the fish, pat it dry, lightly salt and pepper one side, and dab it on a plate with flour on it (both sides). You’re really just dusting the fish.

Get a pan hot over medium high heat.  Once it’s good and hot, add the rest of the olive oil and cook your fish for 3 minutes a side. 

Spoon your tomato sauce over the bottom of an over-proof pan, put your fish on top, and bake for 10 minutes.

We served this with some “baby” squash that we had mixed with thyme, salt, shallots and olive oil, and a Del Dotto Chardonnay.