Esca’s fish-whisperer chef Dave Pasternack makes an autumnal, perfect-for-the-season pan-seared striped bass with roasted sweet potatoes that might even lure your turkey lovers.

Ingredients

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sautéed wild mushrooms (recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Four 6-ounce striped bass fillets, about 1 ¾ inches thick, skin on

Preparation

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a Pyrex baking dish. Drizzle the ¼ cup olive oil over them, and season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes until they’re tender, about 25 minutes. Add them to the pan of sautéed wild mushrooms, stir to combine, and keep warm over a low flame. (Leave the oven on.)

Step 2:

Heat the canola oil in a large, preferably nonstick, ovenproof sauté pan over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Dry the fillets with paper towels and then season them with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the skin side of the fillets in the flour and then add them, skin side down, to the sauté pan. Sear the fish for about 4 minutes, turn, and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook the fillets until they begin to flake when pressed with your finger, about 4 minutes more.

Step 3:

Serve the striped bass on four large plates with the sweet potatoes and Sautéed Wild Mushrooms alongside. Drizzle the plates with a little high-quality extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper.