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Pan-Seared Branzino Fillets
with Gulf Shrimp
Roasted Onions and Fennel and
Emeril's Lemon Butter Sauce
Makes 4 Servings
*1 medium red onion (about 10 ounces), peeled, ends trimmed and cut into 6 thick rings
*1 fennel bulb (about 18 ounces), cut in half and then cut into 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips
*6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*4 (4-ounce) branzino fillets, skins on, scaled
*12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
*Emeril's Lemon-Butter Sauce
*4 ounces baby pea shoots or watercress, rinsed and dried
1Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
2Toss the onion rings and fennel strips with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of the pepper in a 2-quart baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.
3Combine the flour with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Dredge the fish in the seasoned flour on both sides, shaking to remove any excess.
4Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and toss with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pinch pepper. Set aside.
5Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to lightly smoke, add the fish fillets, skin side down, gently press flat with the back of a fish turner or spatula and cook until the skin is crisp, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn and cook until just cooked through, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the fish to a platter and tent to keep warm.
6Add the shrimp to the fat remaining in the pan and cook, turning, over medium-high heat until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
7Spoon 2 tablespoons of the Lemon-Butter Sauce into the center of four large plates and arrange the vegetables on the sauce with the pea shoots on top. Lay the fish fillets, skin side up, over the vegetables and top each fillet with 3 shrimp. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the remaining sauce over each portion and serve immediately.
  • Branzino is Mediterranean sea bass, known in France as "loup de mer" or sea wolf due to the fish's habit of hunting in packs. It makes many appearances on American restaurant menus today; however, it was relatively rare on this side of the Atlantic until just recently.
  • It's a sweet, moist and tender white fish that traditionally is cooked and served whole, with the head on, and it's delicate flavor doesn't require much seasoning. On the Delmonico dinner menu, we offer the fish whole with the head removed, while fillets are served at lunch.
  • Source
    Chef Emeril Lagasse, from "Emeril's Delmonico", 2005 William Morris