Sea bass “en paupiette”

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Credit: Thomas Schauer

I’m taking you back twenty-six years to my early days as chef at the famed Le Cirque in New York City—to the site where restaurant DANIEL is housed today. This dish was created using four main ingredients—sea bass, leek, potato, and red wine. The original recipe is now served only at Café Boulud, while every year at DANIEL we create a new recipe around the same four elements, but with new techniques and presentations.

The art of any classic dish that we remember from a great chef is that it is composed of fairly simple elements. In this recipe, the trick is in the special technique of overlapping translucent sheets of potato, which requires the large Idaho variety sliced very thinly—either with a turning slicer or mandoline—to wrap around the sea bass. By the time you roast the potatoes crispy on all sides, the fish is perfectly cooked. I also add a pomme purée to offer a contrasting texture of potato.

This is my interpretation of fish and chips—more elegant, with a real Lyonnais slant.

Instructions

Step 1: Paupiette

Make each fillet as rectangular as possible (about 5 x 2 inch—12.75 x 5 cm) by slicing horizontally through 1-inch (2.5 cm) of the thick end of the fillet and folding it over toward the thinner side to flatten the surface.

Cut a vertical score on the tail end of each fillet, a few inches from the end, making sure not to cut all the way through, and tuck that end under.

This recipe was originally published in "My Best Daniel Boulud" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits