Aug 23, 2008

Recipe: Prize-Winning Colorado Striped Bass Panzanella

Today's recipe is a contest-winner at the "Great American Seafood cook off of 2008", and let me tell you why I chose this particular winning recipe, Colorado Striped Bass Panzanella, by Chef Paul Anders of Colorado.

First, it looked fairly easy, and that is so important to me when it comes to preparing meals.

Second, and there's a little personal bias in this reason, my hubby is born and raised in Colorado and though we don't live there now, have been so many times and I just love the state.

Third, even though it is a seafood competition, Bass is something that can be in fresh or brackish water, and even though "Colorado Striped Bass" is used in the recipe, Bass is available right here in the lake we live on, how much closer to home can you get than fish from your own backyard? Using local fish or seafood is the best way to go for many reasons, not the least of which is freshness..and by the way, the recipe looked good.

So I guess most of my reasons for choosing this, since I couldn't taste it ahead of time, were based on the way this recipe touches me in a personal way in many areas.

I am providing the recipe for you here, and would also like to encourage you to stop over at and choose your favorite recipe...not only because they all look great, but you may win a trip to New Orleans!

Here's what you'll need and how to cook this recipe:

Colorado Striped Bass
9 six ounce filets, Colorado hybrid Striped Bass, trimmed, scaled, scored on the skin, cut the filets in half

Oil for shallow frying
1 lemon, fine zest
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat ½ inch of oil in two large skillets. Season the bass filets with salt, pepper, and zest on the flesh side. Pan fry the bass skin side down until crisp and golden brown. Turn the filets over, being careful not to splash the hot oil and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Remove the fish and drain over towels. Season the skin with salt.

Farmer’s Market Panzanella

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound fresh ciabatta bread or similar light white bread
4 large ripe tomatoes, cubed into ½ inch pieces (I use a beefsteak grown locally in CO)
3 ounces, baby green shallots or other sweet onions, shaved as thin as possible
12 ounces young cucumber, sliced thinly
1 ounce Picholine olives, split
1 ounce Kalamata olives, split
8 large basil leaves, torn into 1 inch pieces
8-10 mint leaves, torn into 1 inch pieces
½ lemon, juice and zest
Sea salt and Cracked black pepper, to taste

The most important part of this recipe is to use the freshest, ripest, produce you can find at your local farmer’s market or from your backyard garden. It is a simple dish using excellent ingredients. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep pan and add the ciabatta and toast until a light golden brown and slightly crispy. Place all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, except the herbs, lemon, and oil. Toss the salad very lightly, so you don’t crush the tomatoes. Add the herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice and toss while adding the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Crispy Eggplant

2 pounds rice flour
750 milliliters sparkling water
250 milliliters Shock Top beer
1 large eggplant, cut into ¼ inch thick rounds, about 18 slices
Salt, to taste
Oil for frying
Herb Yogurt (recipe below)

Heat 1” of oil in a deep heavy bottom pan to 350 degrees. Mix 1 ½ lbs of the rice flour with the sparkling water and beer to form a batter. Season the eggplant lightly with salt and let stand for 15 minutes to draw out moisture and bitterness. Pat the eggplant dry and dust in the remaining ½ lb. of rice flour, then dip each piece in the batter and place immediately in the oil. Pan fry until crisp and very light brown and turn each piece over. You may have to do this in batches if you have a small pan/pot. You can also use a deep fryer. Remove the eggplant and season with salt. Top with herb yogurt mixture.

Herb Yogurt

4 ounces yogurt
2 ounces sour cream
1 ounce flat leaf parsley, chopped
½ lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients.

Plate Assembly

1 ounce flat leaf parsley
1 lemon, zest, chopped fine
2 Tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stack the eggplant on a large platter. Drizzle the Eggplant with the herb yogurt and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and lemon zest. Place the panzanella on the sides of a long platter. Place the bass filets along the center between the salad. Drizzle the fish with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, serve and enjoy.

Updated 2/10/16

1 comment:

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