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Sea Bass in Saffron Cream Sauce (Dairy)


serves 6

2 lbs sea bass                                   
1 large onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut in thirds                      
1 stalk celery, cut in thirds
2 sprigs thyme                                 
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil                     
kosher salt
¾ teaspoon saffron threads              
1 tablespoon half and half cream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Rinse and dry the sea bass filets.  Cut the fish into 3 X 4 inch pieces, trimming off any small pieces (set aside) to make nicely shaped rectangles.  Place the rectangles on a baking sheet.  Set aside.

Place the fish trimmings into a small saucepan, add 2 ½ cups of water, the onion, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Strain into a bowl. 

Drizzle the fish with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the heat to broil and cook for 3 minutes more.  Remove from oven and set aside covered with foil to keep warm.

Measure ½ cup of the fish stock and place into a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half.  Add the cream and saffron and cook another 30 seconds.  Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking it into the sauce until it is all mixed in.  Serve the fish in a pool of sauce.