Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chilean Sea Bass with a Pineapple-Dijon Pan Sauce

For those of you who follow me on my Facebook Fan Page, you know that my husband and I just returned from a fabulous week in Maui. Back in the day, I spent ten years as a travel agent. I have been on many vacations, all over the world. This particular return trip to Maui, thirty years later, is very high on my scale of "best vacations ever".

 Just landed from a helicopter tour of West Maui and Molokai. So much fun!

We ate fish, pretty much every single day.  That's unusual for both of us, because Craig isn't the biggest fan of fish.  The exception is fresh salmon, which we like to grill or roast.  Otherwise, we both prefer fish that is very mild, and with a hint of sweetness, if possible.

In Maui, we ate a lot of Mahi-Mahi and Opah.  We had one of our most memorable meals at Mama's Fish House, in Paia.   What really stood out for me, was the Pineapple-Dijon-White Wine sauce that was served with my fresh Mahi-Mahi.  I did my best to clean my plate of every delectable drop of that sauce.   The price of the Macadamia Encrusted baked Mahi-Mahi, stuffed with crab and topped with a tiny lobster tail was $52.00-- and that doesn't include our appetizers, cocktails and side dishes.  Ouch.   It was worth every penny, because it was perfectly prepared, and we had a front row view of the ocean.

 The view from our table. Nice, huh?

Yes, Maui changed our lukewarm love of fish. In fact, I began to obsess about that Pineapple Sauce.  I'm pretty sure that it had heavy cream, along with the Dijon mustard and white wine, that the waiter clued me in on how it was made.

The day before we left for Maui, I received a box of frozen Wild-Caught Chilean Sea Bass filets from the Certified Steak and Seafood Company.  Right before work, I removed two of the frozen filets and set them in the refrigerator.

When I got home, they were perfectly thawed.

My fool-proof way of preparing fish (fast and easy) is to pat the fish very dry. I used Old Bay Seasoning to lightly season the fish.  Using an oven-proof skillet, I heated rice oil (has a very high smoke point) but olive oil will do just fine.  Once the oil is shimmering hot, I placed the fish into the skillet.

I wait for about four minutes to get a golden sear, and if the fish loosens easily with a spatula, I turned the fish over.  I then place it into the preheated oven for about 10 minutes longer-- to an internal temperature of 140F.  The fish is removed to a plate and covered with foil.

I buy pineapple juice in the 6-pack cans (6 ounces each).  Once I drained the skillet of any excess oil (there wasn't much), I deglazed the pan on medium-high with the pineapple juice, dry white wine,  chicken stock and a generous teaspoon of Dijon mustard. 

I let the sauce reduce to about half (about 5 minutes)

Remove the skillet from the heat, and whisk in about 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter.  Sure, you could add heavy cream, but I think the butter gave enough of a silky finish to the sauce.

TASTING NOTES:  Just as I had hoped, this Chilean Sea Bass is very mild.  The fish was moist and very tender.  The sauce was so simple to make, and I captured the flavor of Maui with the acidity and sweetness of the pineapple. The Dijon gave a nice savory balance to the sauce.

Best of all, the dinner was very fast to make-- perfect for a week night meal.

I have a few more of the Chilean Sea Bass filets in my freezer.  I have a fancier idea of using some of the Macadamia Nuts that we brought back with us.  I'd love to try baking this fish and creating a tropical salsa to go with this.   

Thank you Certified Steak and Seafood Company, for sending me the Filet Mignons and the Chilean Sea Bass.

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.  My opinions are strictly my honest own! I love them!

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.


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Big Dude said...

Your meal at Mama's looks very impressive and how can you beat the view from your table - that was probably $25 of the meal cost. While you may lack the view from home, I think your meal looks and sounds awefully good and I hope to try the sauce soon.

Kim said...

I loved all the pictures you shared, Debby! It really did look like a wonderfully beautiful vacation.

I think you hit the nail on the head with that sauce. The dijon is a good emulsifier so you can squeak by with just a bit of butter (or cream). It looks luscious! Indulgent without being too heavy.

bellini said...

IT all sounds pretty delicious Debby. This is the second dish this morning where fish has been paired with fruit so it seems it is in the cards.

bellini said...

PS I turned comments moderation back on as well, after trying several other things.

Christi Silbaugh said...

We LOVE Mama's Fish house. A must every time we go to Hawaii!

Your Chilean Sea bass looks lovely and Mama's Fish House worthy!

Chefs Resources said...

Beautiful golden sear on your fish! I love the flavor of chilean sea bass. It used to be on the "banned" list of sustainable seafood, but now apparently there is MSC certified sustainable fillets available.

Lorrie said...

Looks fabulous Debby! I like trying unusual sauces and am trying to put fish in 3x weekly!
mama's fish house....oh yes! Amazing place!!!

Joanne said...

I love mustard paired with sweet flavors so the pineapple sounds perfect! thanks for sharing so much of your vacation with us!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Your photos are making my mouth water, Debby, and I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee. I don't think I've ever tried this fish, but I know I want to! It's very spendy here. Is halibut close in texture. I love that sauce and will make it soon for something. I'm so happy you had a great trip. There is something about those tropical breezes.

Christine said...

Love Mama's Fish House, it's a must on every trip to Maui. You seem to have done a great job of recreating the sauce. Look forward to trying this soon! Glad you had a wonderful vacation!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Awesome sauce Deb, sounds so delish!