Adding some seafood to the Christmas menu is not merely refreshing, it could also be a delight to your guest with all the turkey meat offerings this festive season brings. The lightness of the sea bass fillets and the other subtle ingredients, makes this an easy – and gorgeous – option for the meal table this season. Adding Christmas cheer to the table, the plating of the dish, is layered akin to a Christmas tree.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 stalk leeks, chopped
½ cup roughly chopped tomatoes
1 stalk celery, chopped
A dash of white wine
800g sea bass fillets
A small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
A pinch salt
A pinch pepper
4 mussels, steamed and shelled
4 clams, steamed and shelled
A handful of garlic cloves blanched and blended with fish stock (makes two cups sweet garlic)
A small handful fresh parsley, chopped
Stir-fried spring vegetables like baby zucchini and baby carrots [optional]
Fish stock, made from scratch with fishbones, onions, peppercorns and bay leaves
1. Heat pan with little oil.
2. Add chopped leeks, tomatoes, celery, add in a dash of white wine.
3. In another pan, sear the sea bass fillets in hot oil.
4. Once fillets have browned lightly on the outside, add the basil leaves, salt and pepper. Leave to cook through.
4. In a cooking pot, add de-shelled mussels and clams to sweet garlic fish stock with parsley.
5. Stir well, cover tightly for 10 minutes and let it steam through.
6. Serve with steamed spring vegetables.
Originally from Milan, Fabio Cuccheli was introduced to the culinary world at an early age due to a great passion for food. Fabio first honed his culinary skills at Pietro D’Abano Culinary School before moving on to various award-winning restaurants like Californian three-star Michelin restaurant, French Laundry. He was also at Ristorante La Siriola of the Siriola Group in Italy. He currently leads the kitchen team at Zafferano, the restaurant situated atop Singapore's Ocean Financial Centre's 43rd floor. Fabio's culinary philosophy and passion revolves strongly around preserving an ingredient's natural flavours and complimenting them with other fresh and seasonal produce, and this clearly transcends into his cooking.