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Article: Sea Bass on Leeks

Sea Bass on Leeks

Servings: 4

Author: Jim Kirkley


  • 4 Filets of Sea Bass or Mahi Mahi
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper – for potatoes
  • 4 sprigs, fresh thyme – stripped of leaves for fish seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons, unsalted butter
  • 2 large, cooking potatoes (yukon gold) – see directions
  • 2 leeks – cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup, shiitake mushroom – sliced
  • 2 tablespoons, butter – for leeks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons, unsalted butter – for fish
  • 1 cup, white wine
  • 3 sprigs, fresh thyme – whole for sauce
  • parchment paper
  • 1 tablespoon, chives – minced for garnish
  • il Fustino Aged Balsamic– for accompaniment


Make each fillet as rectangular as possible (about 5 inches by 2 inches) by trimming off uneven edges with a sharp knife. Salt and pepper the fillets and sprinkle them with a teaspoon of the chipped thyme.

Using a knife, shape each potato lengthwise by cutting off the rounded outer flesh to form 4 rectangular slices (do not cut off the tips of the potatoes).

Cut each potato lengthwise into very thin, long slices with a vegetable slicer or mandoline. Each potato should yield about 16 slices (8 slices are needed to wrap 1 fish fillet). Do not rinse the potato slices as their starch will help the wrapped slices stick together.

Toss the potato slices in 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted, and a pinch of salt.

Place a 10-inch square piece of parchment paper on the counter. Choose 8 potato slices of approximately the same length. Place a fillet of fish horizontally at the top of the parchment paper so you can match the length of the potato wrap to the length of the fish.

Place the first slice of potato perpendicular to the fish starting on the left side. Place a second slice overlapping the first one by about 3/8 inch from the left edge. Continue overlapping the potato slices until you have covered an area equal to the length of the fillet of fish.

Center the fish horizontally in the middle of the potato wrap and fold the edges of the potatoes over the fish to enclose it entirely. Repeat the same process for the remaining fillets and refrigerate.

For the leeks: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick sauce pan. Add the shitake mushrooms and a touch of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Add the leeks and a bit more salt and cook until lightly browned. Set aside and keep warm.

For the sauce: melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. When melted add 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and cook for a minute. Add wine and reduce until 4-5 tablespoons remain. Remove thyme and keep warm.

To cook the paupiette of sea bass, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Add the paupiettes of sea bass and sauté until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. If the fish is very thick, finish cooking in the oven for 4 to 5

Place a bed of leeks in the middle of 4 warm serving plates and ladle the sauce around the leeks (about 2 tablespoons per plate). Place a paupiette of sea bass on top of the leeks and garnish with 1/2 sprig of thyme. Sprinkle the plate with the minced chives. Surround with a drizzle of il Fustino Aged Balsamic.