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Striped Bass with California Pistachio Brittle and Wild Mushrooms

California Pistachio Brittle

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 1/2 cups California pistachio kernels
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch fine sea salt

In a saucepan, cook sugar, corn syrup and water until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Add butter and cook until mixture reaches 280 F on a candy thermometer. Stir in pistachios and cook until 300 F. Remove mixture from the heat and stir in baking soda and salt. Immediately spread onto a greased 15 by 10 inch baking pan. When cool, break into small pieces. Reserve four pieces (or 8 tablespoons) of brittle for garnish and store excess in a clean, dry plastic container.

Wild Mushroom Medley

4 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms
(chanterelles, shiitake and oyster)
1 sprig thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped

Wild Mushroom Medley Method: Clean mushrooms. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan. Add chopped shallot, and sauté until translucent. Add mushrooms, sprig of thyme and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking mushrooms until most of the juice has evaporated. Remove mushrooms from heat and add chopped parsley. Set aside, keeping mushrooms warm.


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
four 4-ounce striped bass fillets, skin on
salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season and cook the filets of bass in sauté pan skin side down until the skin begins to crisp. When the skin becomes crispy, remove the fish from the pan and place it on a baking sheet which has been drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Preheat oven to 250 F. Place baking sheet in oven. It will take about three minutes per inch of thickness for fish to finish cooking. When fish is fully cooked, remove from oven and dust each filet with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped pistachio brittle.

To Serve:
Divide mushrooms equally over four warmed plates. Place a filet of bass skin side up on each plate. Drizzle plates with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and pistachio brittle. Serve immediately.

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