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Thread Starter 
This is another perennially surprising flavour combinations that
simply eludes immagination, but I can assure you that it's an
alliance you will never forget.

Serves four

4 seabass fillets, scaled with the skin left on
1 vanilla pod
55 ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 shallot, very finely chopped
150 ml (5 fl oz) fish stock
extra virgin olive oil
1 ripe plum tomato, de-seeded and chopped
1 tbsp chopped chervil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds (pop the pod into a jar of caster sugar to use in a dessert). Place the seeds into a saucepan along with the wine, the vinegar and the shallot, bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by two thirds. Add the fish stock and reduce again to about two thirds. Reduce the heat to very low, then swirl in the oilive oil, tomato and chervil. Finally, season with the salt and pepper. Keep warm while you cook the fish.

Place a ridged cast iron griddle pan over a high heat. Brush the
fillets with oil and lightly season them. When the pan is smoking hot lay the fillets over the ridges skin side down and cook for two
minutes. Turn the fillets over and cook for only thirty seconds. Place the fillets on four warmed serving plates and spoon the dressing around.

About the auhor:
Fred Fisher in an experienced British chef running fun and friendly, relaxed hands-on cooking holidays/culinary vacations in the Dordogne region of SW France. The above recipe is just one of the many he teaches participants on his one day, two day and week-long courses. You can contact him via email: or via his website: