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Before starting this Roasted Sea Bass, Oyster Espuma, Pan Seared Leeks and Fennel Broth, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
For the fennel broth: Cut the onions in half, without peeling.
Place in a non-stick frying pan and cook until caramelized.
Cut the carrots in big chunks, without peeling.
Cut the garlic head in half. It is not necessary to peel.
Separate the green part of the leeks and cut into large slices.
Cut the fennel bulbs into big chunks.
Mix the vegetables (except the garlic head) in a blender. The vegetable pieces should be sufficiently small in order to be mixed properly.
When the onions are caramelized...
... place in a stewpot to sweat in olive oil. Add the mixed vegetables and garlic head.
Season with salt.
Add a big sprig of thyme and 2 bay leaves.
Flambé the pastis in a small saucepan...
... and when the flame is gone, add to the vegetables.
Moisten with cold water so that the vegetables are completely immersed.
Cover and bring to a boil. When the preparation boils, simmer on a gentle boil.
For the preparation of the sea bass: Remove the scales and guts with a scaler. Remove the head.
Fillet the fish using a sharpened sole fillet knife. Run the knife down the spine to the tail...
... and lift the fillet.
Let the knife follow the rib bone.
Remove the fillet and trim. Repeat the same operation for the second fillet.
Cut into portions.
Bone the fillets. Leave the skin on. Reserve in the fridge.
For the oyster espuma: Open the oysters and pour their natural moisture in a bowl. Reserve the oysters for 5 minutes, the time for them to recreate their moisture then pour into the bowl.
Pass the moisture through a fine sieve to get rid of small bits of shells. Repeat the same operation with the remaining oysters.
Pour the oysters water into a small saucepan. Add a bit of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the heat...
... and add the soy lecithin powder (10g per litre).
Combine with a whisk.
Use a hand mixer to create a foam. Tip the saucepan to incorporate air in the preparation to make a foam with a strong iodine taste.
For the pan seared leeks: Cut the leeks in half lengthwise. leave the stem base to ensure the leeks will stay together.
Pour some olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
When the frying pan is hot, place the leeks, flat side facing down.
Salt and brown gently. Do not cover with a lid, as the point of this cooking method is to obtain a contrasting texture.
Add a pinch of water to deglaze the cooking juices and finish the cooking. Keep warm.
For the broth (continued): Pass the broth through a chinois with metal mesh. Press the ingredients firmly to extract as much flavour as possible.
Pour the sieved broth in a saucepan and reduce to strengthen the flavour.
Transfer some broth (the equivalent of 2 ladles) into a separate saucepan and reduce.
Measure the xanthan gum with a digital kitchen scale. The reference quantity is 6g for 1 litre of reduced broth.
Add the xanthan gum in the hot broth...
... and combine with a hand mixer.
In this recipe, the xanthan gum is used as a binding agent.
Pour the thick broth into a squeeze sauce bottle and keep warm.
For the cooking of the sea bass: Season the fillets with salt and Espelette pepper
Cook on one side (skin down) in a non-stick frying pan and a little olive oil.
When you see the flesh is white up to 1/2, the cooking in the frying pan is nearly done.
For the finish: Trim the leeks so they all have the same dimensions.
Remove the stem base.
Place the hot leeks at the bottom of a plate.
Place the sea bass fillet on top, with the skin side up.
Add a few toasted pine nuts...
... and a little fleur de sel.
Fill the bottom of the plate with hot fennel broth. This will finish cooking the sea bass.
Add a few drops of the reduced broth...
... thickened with xanthan gum.
Place some oyster espuma on the surface.
Garnish with a few fennel leaves.
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