Chilean Sea Bass with Lemongrass, Coconut, & Lime Curry Broth

Chilean Sea Bass w/ Coconut, Lime, & Lemongrass Curry Sauce
Adapted from Eric Ripert's Epicurious recipe; serves 4

So... are you planning a dinner party soon? In the doghouse and need to reclaim the pants in your relationship? Feelin' an itch to juggle a few pots and pans at one time? Or just want a super tasty weekend meal that you'll feel ridiculously proud of? Here's your answer. Hopefully this dish won't kick your ass.

1 T butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass stalk*, thinly sliced
1-inch knob ginger, roughly peeled & thinly sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves*
1 T Madras curry
3 cups chicken stock
1 can canned coconut milk (do NOT use light here)
4 cilantro sprigs
sea salt, or kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 T fresh lime juice (or more if not using kaffir leaves - use 1 T for each leaf)

sea bass
2 T canola oil
4 7-oz Chilean sea bass fillets, 1 1/2 inches thick, skin on
salt and pepper

veggie side
1/2 stick butter (can omit or add less)
fine sea salt
4 heads of baby boy choy, divided in half
kosher salt

7-8 oz vermicelli style noodles (also called glass or cellophane)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Start a large pot of salted water and butter to boiling (put cover on to speed this up).

To make the broth, melt butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and curry and sweat until tender and with no color, about 5-6 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cilantro and simmer 5 minutes. Season w/ salt and pepper. Strain through fine chinois (strainer) and set aside, keeping warm. Stir in 1 T lime juice.

Put 2 T of oil in one large (ovensafe) skillet, or if using large fillets, divide it into 2 skillets. Place over high heat until oil is just smoking. Season sea bass on both sides with s&p. Put in skillet (skin side down) and saute until golden brown and crusted on the bottom, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn and sear on the other side for 30 seconds. Put pans in the oven and roast until a metal skewer can be easily inserted in the fish and, when left in the fish for 5 seconds, feels hot when touched to your lip, about 6-7 minutes. (this is an Epicurious tip..).

To the pot of boiling water and butteryness, add bok choy and cook until crisp and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a sheet pan in the fridge to "shock" and stop cooking, retaining the bright green color. SAVE THE WATER and bring it back up to boil.

While the fish are roasting and the boy choy is in the fridge, add the glass noodles to the boiling water and remove the pot from the heat. Let sit for a few minutes until noodles are soft. Drain.

To plate, add a small mound of noodles to the bottom of a large bowl. Place fish on top and 2 halves of bok choy around. Pour 1/4 of broth over the fish. Squeeze a little lime juice on top (~1 T for all 4 bowls). Voila!!

*Both kaffir lime leaves & lemongrass can be found at specialty Asian food stores. Lemongrass is sold in many grocery stores, and Kaffir lime leaves can be found at Whole Foods in some locations (like the Lincoln Park Chicago location) and can be purchased here.