Orata Con La Salsa all’ Arancia (Sea Bass with Orange Sauce)
My travels to Italy land me in a variety of restaurants, some featuring basic home cooking while others are alta cucina establishments. I am open to trying new things, and the sea bass with oranges left a memorable taste on my palate. Here is my re-creation of the dish.
3 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 sea bass fillets, each weighing about 8 ounces
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Juice of 2 blood oranges plus 2 additional oranges peeled and segmented (or substitute navel oranges if blood oranges are not available)
Fine salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cracked red peppercorns
1/4 cup minced parsley
1. Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes, drain and set on a cutting board.
2. In a small sauté pan, toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Transfer to the cutting board with the raisins and mince together with a knife. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold the fish in single layer. Lightly coat the fish fillets in flour and cook over medium-high heat, turning once. Add the additional 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan if it seems dry while cooking the fish. Sprinkle the fish with the orange juice and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Salt and pepper the fillets. Transfer the fish to a platter and keep warm.
4. To the pan, add the cream and peppercorns. Stir well to form a nice sauce; if the sauce is too thick, thin it down with a little milk.
5. Place a piece of fish on each of 4 dinner plates and top with some sauce. Sprinkle the raisins and pine nuts evenly over the fish. Add a few orange segments to each dish and sprinkle with a little parsley.