Sea Bass Fillet with
Wild Mushrooms and Truffles
Branzino alla Montanara
Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, covered skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Pat the fish fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear the fish, without jostling, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until a nice brown crust forms. Flip fillets and brown the other side, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bass onto a plate and keep warm while preparing the sauce.
In a saucepan, heat the Chicken Stock to boiling and stir in the porcini mushrooms. Remove from heat, cover and let the mushrooms reconstitute for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the stock. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the remaining mushrooms and garlic in the hot olive oil until they are brown and aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes. (Cook the mushrooms in batches if necessary for a nice dark color.) Stir in the chopped porcini. Pour in the wine, stirring to dislodge any flavorful brown bits that may be sticking to the bottom of the pan. Simmer and reduce the liquid by half. Add the reserved porcini stock, cream, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and reduce to a sauce consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon take one-half of the mushrooms out and set aside. Put the sauce and the remaining mushrooms in a blender and process to a cream.
Return the sauce and the reserved mushrooms to the large skillet and bring to a boil. Add the fish fillets, along with the peas, Parmesan, and chopped parsley to the pan with the sauce. Cover and braise gently over low heat until the fish is tender and opaque throughout, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place fish pieces on dish or serving tray. Add the truffles or truffle oil to the sauce, or both, and spoon over the fish.