Wow, wow, wow. Here is an impromptu sea bass recipe we made using local California fish, veggies, and fruit from the central coast. The culmination of local shops, veggies and spices we’ve been carrying around from the Southwest mixed with treats given to us as gifts from hosts made this possible.
Thanks to Stephen and Deb for introducing us and giving us Ojai Pixie Tangerines.
1 lb local Sea Bass (from Giovanni’s in Morro Bay)
2 Ojai pixie tangerines (a gift from our hosts in Ojai), halved
8 oz soba
1 onion (been saving these from a huge bag we got in Hatch, NM), diced
2 avocados (fresh from Morro Creek Ranch), cubed
1 tomato (from Morro Bay), diced
handful of chiltepin’s (from Hatch), crushed
2 TBS dried safflower threads (from Hatch)
1 small dried chipolte (from Hatch), chopped
rosemary sprig (saved from a host’s garden in Salt Lake City), stripped and diced
local mixed leaf lettuce greens (Morro Bay)
1/4 Arbequina olive oil (from Rancho Olivos)
Salt to taste
1. Build the fire and make sure the coals are well developed and hot enough to warm the fire grate. I foraged for old wood charcoal around the empty campground site to build a small but hot fire for the fish on our own campfire grate. Allow 30-45 min.
2. Oil and salt the fish fillet on both sides then place on campfire grate. It takes around 10-15 min per side depending on thickness. As it cooks, look for the texture of the first side to change from reddish to white up to the middle of the fillet.
3. Meanwhile, combine the avocado, tomato, chiltepin, safflower, and rosemary. Salt to taste and let sit.
4. Bring a pan of water to boil, add onion and chipotle, cook for 1 min. Then add soba and cook 4 min.
5. Juice 1/2 of a tangerine on the fish, salt to taste, then flip and cook on second side.
6. Drain soba, keeping onion and pepper in the water. Let cool slightly and then arrange the warm noodles on top of the salad greens on a plate.
7. A few minute before the second side of the fish is done squeeze the remaining half of the tangerine on the fish . Cook just until the meat is white and gently separating and flaking apart.
8. When done cooking, lay the fish on the soba and greens then top with the remaining tangerine halves and serve with the avocado tomato salsa.