Herb Crusted Sea Bass & Spring Pea Pancakes

Spring Recipes

I couldn’t be more excited that it’s spring! My favorite produce stand is open, there’s bud break in the vineyards and the warm weather has set in. I’m also excited because at least once a week I get together with my friend Morgan to make dinner and catch up over wine or handcrafted cocktails. Sometimes we plan out our menu in advance, but for the most part we develop our recipe ideas based on which ingredients we have at home.  This week’s menu was inspired by spring and of course the seasonal ingredients we had in our refrigerator or pantry.

After work I swung by my favorite local market, Oliver’s, and picked up some fresh fish and eggs – and that’s it! Morgan and I had everything else to complete this delicious spring menu. Oh, and when you’re at the store, don’t forget the vino. We enjoyed a bottle of Gloria Ferrer Estate Chardonnay, which paired perfectly with the fish and pancakes.

Crusted Seabass

Herb Crusted Sea Bass

  • 1 pound Sea Bass fillets
  • 1 cup Panko
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the parsley, thyme, lemon zest and panko in a large shallow bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and lightly coat both sides of the fillets. Dredge the fish in the panko mixture and set aside. Preheat a skillet over medium-high, add the remaining butter and drizzle of olive oil and cook the fillets for about 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Flip, cover skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 8 minutes or until crust is golden brown and middle is white and flaky.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fillets (our fish was about an inch in thickness).

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of thin asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and roast for about 10 – 12 minutes. Keep warm until you are ready to plate.

Pancakes & Fillets

Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of salt

Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler), just make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. (Make sure the eggs do not get too hot or else they will scramble) Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Serve warm over fish and asparagus.

Spring Pea Pancakes with Herbed Yogurt

These tasty treats were so easy to make and paired exceptionally well with our herb crusted Sea Bass.

Click here to view this recipe on Morgan’s delicious blog:
There Will Be Snacks

Pea Pancakes

Share with us some of your favorite dishes you are enjoying this spring! @ApronsStilettos

Here’s to another great day! ~Crystal

Creekview Cabernet Braised Short Ribs

Cabernet Short Ribs

Whew! Looks like some time has passed since our last blog post! What can I say… December was a busy month with the holidays and all, not to mention the planning of my sister’s baby shower (pictures will be up soon!) So thanks for sticking around… 2014 has kicked off to be a fabulous year so far and we can’t wait to share our latest posts with you. First of which is this AMAZING Cabernet Braised Short Ribs over crispy polenta.

  • 8 beef chuck short ribs
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 1/2 cups Creekview Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Slow cooker for braising

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the short ribs, season with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes each side. Carefully place the caramelized short ribs in your slow cooker.

Add the minced onions to the skillet and cook on medium heat until they are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and mash the paste into the onions and continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Add the Cabernet, beef broth, brown sugar, salt, pepper and flour. Stir well. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer. Pour the sauce over the ribs in the slow cooker and cook for 5 1/2 – 6 hours on high. The meat should be falling off the bones!

Serve over creamy polenta or crispy polenta cakes and enjoy with a glass of Creekview Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cheers ~ Crystal


Wine Pairing

Creekview Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

I decided to open up a beautiful 2006 Creekview Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Clara Valley. I’ve had this bottle for a few years now and thought tonight was the perfect time to crack it open, incorporate it in this dish and enjoy a glass. Aromas of dark cherry and plum with a hit of vanilla. Full bodied with flavors of licorice, cherry and cocoa and a smooth, soft finish. While there isn’t any 2006 left to get your hands on, the 2010 vintage is tasting amazing and available online or at the winery.

Coconut Milk & Poached Salmon Soup with Blood Orange Salad

Coconut Soup & Blood Orange Salad

Morgan and I were laying out by the pool, enjoying the 90+ degree weather and a glass of Kunde Sauvignon Blanc when we decided to make soup for dinner. Soup?! On such a hot day. Yes. I love soup, even during the warmer months,  but I don’t experiment enough with making them.  It was settled then. Soup it was.

Ingredients for Salmon Soup

We both love Thai cuisine and decided to integrate similar ingredients used in Thai cooking  to build our Coconut Milk & Poached Salmon Soup. And what better way to brighten up the strong aromatic & spicy components of our soup than with a delicate blood orange salad.

We rushed off to Oliver’s to pick up the essentials.

Filet of Wild Alaskan Salmon, Pacific

Coconut Milk & Poached Salmon Soup

1 Wild Pacific Alaskan Salmon, Filet – middle piece
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 stalk lemongrass, snapped in half
Ginger, sliced (about 12 rounds)
2 (13 fl. oz) cans coconut milk
3 chilies, chopped (we used two Jalapeño & 1 Fresno pepper)
Fish sauce, few dashes
2 bay leaves
1 lime, juiced
5 – 7 springs cilantro
Salt, to taste

Salmon for Coconut Soup

Combine stock, 1/2 onion (whole – not sliced), garlic, lemongrass and ginger in a pot and bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk, chilies, fish sauce, and bay leaves and simmer for another 10 minutes. Strain and return the broth to the stove. Cut the raw salmon filets into small chunks, add to the broth and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Once the salmon is cooked thoroughly, add in juice from one lime, cilantro and salt. Serve immediately with blood orange salad and vino of your choice.

We were out of the Sauvignon Blanc so we enjoyed a glass of Rosé with our dinner which paired great with the spicy kick in our soup. Don’t have bottle of Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc? Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer would also be a fine match.

Blood Orange Salad

Blood Orange Salad

Arugula
2 blood oranges, sliced
Small bag of sliced almonds
1/2 red onion, sliced

Citrus Vinaigrette

1 blood orange, juiced
Olive oil, heavy drizzle
Red wine vinegar, few dashes
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Blood Oranges for Salad

Combine all citrus vinaigrette ingredients and set aside. Cut the skins off of the blood orange and slice orange wedges for salad. Combine oranges with arugula, onions and almonds and toss with citrus vinaigrette.

Serves 3-4

~Enjoy, Crystal