Decorative and easy to prepare, Sea Bass with White Butter Sauce is an ideal main course for a lunch or dinner party served with new potatoes and courgettes sauteed in butter. Sea bream or red snapper may be used in place of bass. A white
Burgundy or dry white Graves wine is a good accompaniment.
5 pints Court Bouillon
1 X 3 lb. sea bass, cleaned, with the head and tail left on
6 parsley sprigs
2 fl. oz. white wine vinegar
2 fl. oz. dry white wine
3 shallots or spring onions , finely chopped v teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
8 oz. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
Pour the court bouillon into a large fish kettle and bring it to the boil over high heat.
Meanwhile wash the fish thoroughly inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper towels and wrap it in a double piece of cheesecloth.
Reduce the heat to low. Place the fish on the rack of the kettle, and lower the rack into the kettle. (The court bouillon should cover the fish by 2-inches.)
Cover the kettle and simmer the fish very gently for 15 minutes. Remove the kettle from the heat and set aside for 15 minutes.
Lift the fish out of the kettle and transfer it to a large chopping board. Carefully remove and discard the cheesecloth.
Carefully remove the skin from the fish with a sharp knife. Arrange the fish on a large serving plate and garnish with the parsley sprigs. Keep warm while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce, put the vinegar, wine, shallots or spring onions , salt and pepper into a medium-sized saucepan. Set the pan over moderate heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about
Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wire whisk, stir in 4 small pieces of the chilled butter, beating constantly until it is completely absorbed.
Return the pan to very low heat and add the rest of the chilled butter, a small piece at a time, whisking constantly and making sure all the butter is absorbed before adding the next piece. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat.
Serve the fish at once, with the sauce.