Bill Milne
Rick Moonen
magnify Click image to view more.

Wild Striped Bass with Variations of Cauliflower

Rick Moonen, Rick Moonen's RM Seafood / March 2011

For 4 servings

Yellow cauliflower puree:
• 1 head yellow cauliflower, cored and broken into sm. florets
• 4 cups heavy cream
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 1/2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature

  1. Bring cauliflower, cream, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium; simmer until cauliflower is soft and cream has reduced by 50 percent; remove from heat.

  2. Place cauliflower mixture and butter in a blender; blend until smooth; strain through fine chinois into clean saucepan; reserve (keep warm).

Pickled purple cauliflower:
• 2 cups rice wine vinegar
• 3 1/4 Tbsps. granulated sugar
• 4 Tbsps. coriander seeds, toasted
• 3 1/2 Tbsps. fennel seeds, toasted
• 3 1/2 Tbsps. black peppercorn
• 1/2 Tbsp. salt
• 1 Fresno chile, halved
• 1 head purple cauliflower, cored and broken into sm. florets

  1. Bring 2 cups water, vinegar, sugar, spices, salt, and chile to a boil in a saucepan; remove from heat; let stand 20 minutes; bring to a boil again; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into nonreactive bowl; add florets; cover with plastic wrap; reserve.

Green cauliflower vinaigrette:
• 1 head green cauliflower
• extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 lemon, zested
• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground
• white balsamic vinegar
• fines herbes (for sprinkling)

  1. Shave outer edge of cauliflower with paring knife or a peeler (pieces should crumble off and look like couscous) into a bowl; drizzle liberally with oil; sprinkle with zest; season; toss to coat; whisk in vinegar; sprinkle with fines herbes; cover with plastic wrap; reserve.

• salt
• black pepper, freshly ground
• 1 head white cauliflower, core removed
• 1 orange, zested and juiced
• 1 1/2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, plus more for cooking
• 4 pods green cardamom
• fines herbes
• 4  7-oz. wild striped bass fillets, skin and blood line removed
• 1 lemon, zested and juiced
• extra-virgin olive oil
• mixed micro herbs, such as red shiso, celery, and arugula

  1. Season cauliflower; place cauliflower, orange juice and zest, butter, and cardamom in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag; cook sous-vide, maintaining water temperature at 186°F, until cauliflower is just beginning to soften (about 35 minutes); remove from water; place in ice water bath; cool; remove from water; remove cauliflower from bag; break into florets; cut into 3/8" thick slices; reserve.

  2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat; place cauliflower in pan; add more butter if needed (enough to be able to baste with); cook until cauliflower is brown; sprinkle with fines herbes; reserve (keep warm).

  3. Place bass in bamboo steamer; bring a pot of water to a boil; place steamer over top; cook fish to desired doneness; remove from heat; place on serving platter; drizzle with lemon juice; sprinkle with lemon zest; season; spoon even layer of reserved vinaigrette over top; reserve (keep warm).

  4. Whisk some of the pickling liquid with oil in small bowl; add pickled cauliflower; season; sprinkle with fines herbes; reserve.

  5. To serve, spoon warm cauliflower puree lengthwise across center of warm rectangular plate; scatter 3 to 4 pieces of pickled cauliflower randomly across plate; drizzle pickling vinaigrette around; stand 2 to 3 pieces caramelized cauliflower across plate; place warm fish at an angle across puree; sprinkle micro herbs around.

What to drink: William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux 2009