Braised Sea Bass and Fennel with Saffron and Harissa
  • Cooking Time: 40
  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation Time: 20
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 lg fennel bulbs, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups fresh fish stock
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 4 small sea bass fillets
  • 1 lb red potato, boiled and peeled
  • 3 tsp harissa paste*—a North African spice blend
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in large sauté pan, add onion and fennel and cook until lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes, season with sea salt to taste.
  2. Add fish stock and saffron.
  3. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Season inside and outside of sea bass.
  5. Put fish on top of fennel, cover and simmer until fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. While fish is cooking, crush potato with fork and set to side.
  7. Remove sea bass and set on large dinner plate.
  8. Keep warm in low temperature oven.
  9. Raise heat and cook fennel mixture over high heat for 5 minutes.
  10. Add crushed potatoes and harissa paste and continue cooking until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  11. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
  12. Spoon fennel and potato mixture beside sea bass and serve.
*HARISSA PASTE [hah-REE-suh] - From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot chilies, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It's the traditional accompaniment for couscous but is also used to flavor soups, stews and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars.