Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sea Bass Poached in Homemade Creamy Curry Sauce

When you have the proper tools and good music, cooking is so easy and fun! Upbeat loungy jazz music is a great motivator for cooking. At least, for me, it makes me feel like I'm cooking in a posh restaurant kitchen. One can always fantasize. As I feel the beat of the music, I sample, test, try, and savour until I get the "right" desired texture and taste. That's what cooking is all about. There is nothing more satisfying than to let yourself go and let your imagination do the work for you. You'll be surprised how easy it is to concoct a culinary creation.
For people on the go, this recipe is fast and almost effortless. It only takes 10 minutes of preparation and 10 minutes of cooking. Making your own curry paste is surprisingly simple and rewarding. All you need are the right spices & herbs and a mortar. The spices illustrated below can be purchased in any local asian or arabic grocery store.
From left to right : minced garlic, minced ginger, tomato paste, ground paprika, ground tumeric (or curcuma), chili powder, ground cumin, garam masala.
Top Center: Fresh coriander and one quarter lemon.

When blended and crushed, these spices make a wonderfully aromatic curry paste, both intense and vibrant in colour. The key to making a colourful paste is squeezing in fresh lemon juice. Since I started making my own homemade curry paste, I can't go back to the ones already pre-made from the store.
Recipe "au pif":
1 1/2 lbs Sea Bass filet (2 big nice filets cut in nice chunky pieces - skin removed)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup of 15% "Champetre" or "Country-style" cream (thicker than regular 15% cream, or use 35% cream)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
DRY SPICES (most found in local asian or arabic grocery stores):
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp tumeric (or curcuma)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground garam masala
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil**
Making the vibrant curry paste:
Grind and blend the above dry spices in the mortar. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add in the tomato paste. Blend well until you reach a paste texture. Put aside.
Preparing the fish dish:
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and stir until there are no more lumps. Add in the cream and stir until sauce is velvety and bubbly.
Arrange the fish in the pan and gently shake the pan so the fish is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the fish.
Ladle the sauce over the fish and serve with rice.


Suzer said...

Looks fantastic. I recently tried my 1st curry recipe and it was only so so, so I'm very keen to try again.

QlinArt said...

I think you will enjoy this one Suzer. Not only is it easy but it's so creamy and yummy!

Anonymous said...

This was an amazing recipe, this was good with Tilapia as well. The creaminess was divine...officially added to our weekly repertoire!!!

Anonymous said...

I tried the Curry sauce, and added to Tbls of brown sugar to cut the hotiness a bit and add a bit of sweetness. Marvelous!!!

QlinArt said...

Good to know about the added sweetness. Thx for your comment. :)