Aired August 27, 2007
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 sea bass fillets (about 6 to 8 ounces each)
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
To clean the leeks: Remove the root end from the leeks then trim the dark green tops and discard. Cut the white and light green parts in half lengthwise then thinly slice leeks into half moons. Fill a bowl with water and place the sliced leeks in it, swooshing them around with your fingers. Let the water settle so that the grit can fall to the bottom of the bowl then gingerly remove the sliced leeks from the water to a colander making sure to not stir up the grit on the bottom of the bowl. If your leeks seem extra dirty, clean the bowl out and repeat the process.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the sliced leeks and season with some salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until wilted. Add the cream and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the leeks are super tender and creamy.
Once you have the leeks going start the sea bass: Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Season the sea bass fillets with salt and pepper then transfer to the skillet skin side down. Cook until crisp on the first side, about 2-3 minutes, then flip them over and continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes, until cooked through, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Once you have the leeks and the sea bass going make the soy jus: In a small sauce pan, combine the honey, a splash of water, tamari and the lemon juice. Place over low heat and cook until it is just warmed through and combined. Reserve the sauce.
To serve, divide the creamy leeks between 4 serving plates, top with the crispy sea bass skin side up, then spoon some of the soy jus over the top of the fish.