The striped bass is an anadromous fish like the salmon, a saltwater inhabitant dependent on freshwater rivers for its reproduction. In the Atlantic it ranges from Cape Cod to Florida. The tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson River are still major spawning grounds for the striped bass, and these two water sheds supply virtually all the fish now caught along the Atlantic Coast as they migrate to and from their wintering areas.
Although modern sportsmen eagerly seek trophy bass of over 50 pounds the anomaly is that striped bass are at their peak for table in weights between 6 to 10 pounds. As the grows heavier in weight, its flesh becomes more coarse; although large bass can be steaked and broiled or flaked for salads, they are not nearly as tasty as the fish. Bass is magnificent when fresh, dressed and iced shortly after being caught, but something less then magnificent if it spends several days in transit to the marketplace. In large cities like New York, where Japanese restaurants in making sashimi heavily utilize the striper, fast delivery plus critical buying assures a prime product.
Poached Striped Bass With Caper Sauce
- 1 ½ lb. Whole striped bass
- 1 lemon sliced thin
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 4 celery stalks including leaves, chopped
- 2 cup white wine
- 2-cup water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups fish stock
- 6 tablespoons capers with juice
Make a roux with butter and flour, and add enough liquid, stirring as you add it, to give the consistency of a white sauce. Stir in capers.
Place sliced lemon, sliced onion and celery on the bottom of a casserole tray deep enough to cover the entire fish. Add the fish on top of the lemon, onion and celery, cover with the wine and water. Cover and poach gently for 30 minutes or until bass tests done. Arrange the bass on a platter and gently peel of visible skin. Strain the cooking liquid and use to make the caper sauce. Spoon the sauce over the fish. Serves 2.
Grilled Striped Bass
- 1-½ lbs. Striped Bass fillet
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill until very hot. Drizzle the fish with the oil, and sprinkle with garlic and salt and pepper. Grill the fish flesh side down about 5 minutes. Try not to let the fish stick by adjusting the fish with a spatula about every 2 minutes. Flip the fish gently and grill another 5 minutes per side. The fish should be firm to the touch and juicy.
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