Saturday, April 29, 2006

Chipotle-Mustard Glazed Chilean Sea Bass w/ Green Beans

*Just Braise has moved. Please visit me at!*

I first encountered the chipotle pepper a few years back. It was my birthday and a friend brought me an orange can of La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. He had passed a Mexican bodega on the way to the party, stopped in, and bought the cheapest bizarre food item he could find—the 50 cent-7 ounce can was perfect. It was not the only strange food-related gift I would receive that year: a small jar of mint chutney, a bag of stale cotton candy, a can of tuna fish and gunpowder tea were some others. All, much to my own surprise, were put to use—except the chipotle peppers—I just did not know what to do with them.

I cannot say I was afraid of the little shriveled smoked pepper. I just did not make much Mexican food at home (a friend of mine worked at a fabulous Mexican restaurant that offered me a good deal on my meals). I did not know what to do with it. As I said, this was a few years ago. My adventures in mixing world cuisines were not so daring, that can of peppers sat in my cupboard for at least 1 year.

After years of eating chicken mole at said establishment, I finally craved that bittersweet chocolate sauce one night at home. I called my friend for the recipe, attempted my own measurements (since they make it in large vats) and low and behold, I had all the ingredients-- chipotle chili peppers being one of them. I whipped up a batch and I might say, mine was just as delicious as the one I had been eating for years.

I no longer shy away from buying that little orange can of peppers. Their deep smoky flavor is unique and their subtle spice is superb. So when I was sent a bottle of Chipotle-Mustard, I knew it would be delicious. That mustard started popping up in my tuna fish sandwiches, replacing regular deli mustard. I used it on kielbasas, in dips, for dressings on salads.

Inspiration hit the other day as D and I purchased some Chilean Sea Bass from the fishmonger. The problem I often have with D: I want to experiment and he will say something in the realm of: “We purchased the most expensive fish in there, nothing should be added, it’s like drenching a filet mignon in sauce! Fish should be simple: butter, lemon juice, done.” I assured him that even though I had no idea what I was doing, I knew what I was doing. The more you cook, the more you understand flavors and how they might coexist. I was finally able to convince D that replacing plain mustard with chipotle mustard would taste good.

The result? The fish just melted in the mouth. It was a superb combination of smoky chili to sweet mustard to buttery fish. Served alongside green beans this meal will have to be made again—possibly with more chipotle oomph.

Makes 2 servings. Active Time= 8 minutes. Cook Time= 20 minutes.
* 1 pound Chilean Sea Bass
* 1 Tbl Silver Springs Chipotle-Mustard
* 2 tsp granulated sugar
* 1 Tbl butter
* about 20 green beans, washed and ends plucked clean

1) Preheat oven to 250F. Melt butter over stovetop on medium-high in an oven-safe pan. While the pan is warming, mix the chipotle-mustard and sugar in a small bowl. Wash and pat dry the Sea Bass.
2) When pan is hot, sear the Sea Bass, skin side up for 2-3 minutes. Flip and sear skin side down for 2-3 minutes. (The thickest part of the fish should still be raw).
3) Brush the chipotle mix over the Sea Bass, place the green beans around the fish and put in center shelf of oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

For non-food related activities we have WCB over at Eat Stuff. Below we have one very inactive post-op Whiskey drugged up and sleepy.

As well as one comatose self-drugged (cat nip) Kitty BoJangles (note the fluffy toy that is stuffed full of nip).

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