Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Apron Giveaway + Stuffed Sea-Bass Fillet Wrapped in Chard with Pomegranate-Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Well, my food photos for ths one really did not turn out well. So disappointing, as I had such high hopes for this, too! This is my Royal Foodie Joust entry for May! This month's Royal Foodie Joust, presided over as always by The Leftover Queen has been quite a challenge.
Rather than specific ingredients, tThe theme for this month's joust is Red, White, and Green. When I heard it, I instantly imagined snowy white fish filets wrapped up in ruby-veined chard. I guess there must be some slavic or scandinavian blood in this here Indian, because I am just crazy about beets and chard. Chard is actually a variety of beet that is raised for its leaves and yummy stems. Every spring I just seem to crave beets in all guises. I decided it would be colorful and fun to add some beet slices and a garlicky crabmeat stuffing to the chard packets as well.

I am quite fond of chard, even though it's a bit of a pain to wash and chop. It's really important to wash it well, as it is very sandy. I always drop the leaves into a sinkful of lukewarm water and let soak for 3-4 minutes, long enough for the dirt to sink to the bottom.

Then carefully lift the leaves out of the water. Wow, just look at all the sand that got left behind!

Here's my original recipe for

Stuffed Sea Bass Wrapped In Chard Leaves
with Pomegranate-Hazelnut Vinaigrette
by DomesticMuse

8 large Swiss Chard leaves, preferably ruby or rainbow chard

4 6 oz. sea bass filets

1 med. beet
8 T softened boursin cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 c. fresh basil leaves
1 lg. shallot

4 0z. "crabmeat" (I used the fake crab flakes)
2 T freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/2 t. Cholula or other hot sauce
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 c. pure pomegranate juice, such as Pom Wonderful
juice of 1 fresh lime
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T fresh basil leaves, preferably purple basil
4 T extra virgin olive oil
4 T walnut oil Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. chopped toasted hazlenuts

First, roast the beet. Preheat the oven to 400F. Trim away any leaves, leaving 1" of stem, and wash the beet well. Rub with some vegetable oil and add salt and pepper.

Wrap in foil and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30-35 min., or until the beet is easily pierced by a knife. When cool, remove from the foil and remove the beet skin gently with your fingers. Slice into paper-thin slices. (I used my food processor, fitted with the 2mm blade.)

To prepare the chard leaves for stuffing, remove the stems and reserve for another use. Dip the chard leaves in boiling water for 5-10 second to blanch, and drop into an ice water bath.

Dry on kitchen towels. With a sharp paring knife, carefull pare down the thick ribs on the back side of the chard leaves so the leaves are of even thickness.

Spread the leaves out and set aside.

To prepare the stuffing, place the boursin cheese, the lemon zest, the shallot (chopped), the basil leaves, hot sauce, cayenne, parmigiano-reggiano and the crab meat in bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth, and add salt and pepper to taste.
My fininshed stuffing:

To prep the fillets: Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the 4 filets on a work surface.

Season them on both sides with salt and pepper. Cover 2 of the filets with beet slices. Then add a generous layer of stuffing, and top the stuffing with more beet slices.

Top with the remaining fish filets.

Cut each of the two stuffed filets in half cross-wise, to make 4 stuffed pieces.
Lay 2 chard leaves on the work surface to form an X. Place one of the stuffed filets on top of the chard leaves, and wrap tightly in the leaves.

Repeat with the remaining filets.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T olive oil. Add the chard packets and sear for 1 minute. Then place the skillet in the oven and roast the chard packets for 12-16 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the pomegranate vinagrette. Place the pomegranate juice, the lime juice, the basil, the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Turn on the machine and add the walnut and olive oils slowly. Taste and correct seasoning as needed.

When the chard packets are done, serve drizzled with the pomegranate vinaigrette and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

Stuffed SeaBass Wrapped in Chard with Pomegranate-Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Sea-bass filets are stuffed with a mixture of boursin cheese ...

See Stuffed SeaBass Wrapped in Chard with Pomegranate-Hazelnut Vinaigrette on Key Ingredient.

To go with the fish packets, I made braised new potatoes and an old family favorite, that sounds weird but is quite delicious. I find myself craving it every spring: Balsamic Beet and Apple Puree.

It's an old standy-by from The Silver Palate that is really simple to make. For 3 servings. roast 2 medium or 1 large beet in foil at 400F, as descibed above, until very tender. Let cool, peel, and cut into several pieces. Meanwhile, chop one yellow onion and saute slowly in 2-3 T of butter with salt, pepper, and 1 T. of sugar. Add 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped, and saute until the onions and apples are very tender. Add 1-2 T balsamic vinegar. Puree the beet with the apple and onion mixture in the food processor.

We really enjoyed this meal, even if the entree didn't turn out to be as photogenic as I had hoped. It is actually pretty simple to prepare, and goes together quite quickly, once the beets are roasted. The pomegranate vinagrette and chopped hazelnuts added just the perfect tart, tangy and rich touch to the fiinshed dish. It was delicious!

I think this vinaigrette is one of the best uses I've found thus far for the case of Pom Wonderful that the company generously sent me. I will be experimenting with it more this week, now that we are mostly settled into the new house. (Not that there isn't still plenty of unpacking to do, LOL!!)

Happy Spring, All!

Just found out about a great APRON giveaway!! A Wrestling Addicted Mommy is giving away a Carolyn's kitchen hot pink sweetheart apron, deadline is May 5!

Get the details here. As you all know, I am wild for vintage aprons, and Carolyn's Kitchen's aprons are sizzlin'! So don't miss Wrestling Mommy's giveaway!

Yours in culinary love,


  1. Well, I think I might have to come to your house for dinner!! This dish is so unique. I know I would love it. I didn't realize there was so much sand in the Chard Leaves! Thanks for showing how to clean them.

  2. Karen.. absolutely delicious.. your dishes are so original, my hats off to you.

  3. Wow, what a great entry! This joust was so much fun because you could do so much with it!

  4. Great entry! Very creative! I love the idea of pomegranate-hazelnut vinaigrette!

  5. Your photos are great!! and your dishes!!

  6. Ginger- Aw, thanks! If you've never tried chard before, it is a very friendly green for a first-timer. The stems are the best part, they cook up tender and sweet.

    Donna- Thanks so much!! I know a lot of people aren't wild about fish, can't stand beets, and are iffy on greens, so this dish is not for everyone, but thanks so much! :D
    Kat- Thanks. I am totally in love with your red-velet gelato sandwiches-- that is so creative and cool (literally, too!)
    Natasha- The vinaigrette is yum-o! We are enjoying it on salads. DS and I love it on the classic greens with beets, walnuts and gorgonzola.
    Suzie-- thanks so much! It was a lot of fun. This one is actually really easy to make.

  7. I love fish, beets and greens! Very creative and delicious! I love the vinaigrette and I still have some POM to use up!!

  8. How can you say you are disappointed with your photos? My goodness, they are beauiful! What a colorful dish!!

  9. Thank you for the fantastic recipe. I wish I had more recipes I can experiment with acai juice because I happen to be a huge fan of acai juice.

  10. Karen, thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog! I am thrilled to meet new food bloggers, and will be following you on my reader.

  11. This looks great, very colorful! I made beets for dinner tonight too, great minds think alike :)

  12. Hi Karen,
    Colorful entry!
    I Love beets, fish, not so much, is one of my Cuban traumas =) you can read why in my one and only fish entry.
    I am adding your balsamic beet and apple puree to my beet recipes.

  13. This looks beautiful! I really like your idea of paring down the ribs on the back on the chard. I should have done that with my turkey tacos wrapped in Romaine... it would have made the rolling easier and more uniform. :)
    Hope you can retrieve the cookbooks from the evil apt. complex office. (Read your comment on girlichef's post.)

  14. How in the world did I miss this post? This is so full of color and creative! I love beets and the whole thing looks amazing! Thanks for your well-wishes, I think I am on my way to feeling better :) I must go check out that apron giveaway...

  15. This looks great - good luck in the joust! I also love that you're quoting one of my favorite cookbooks - Silver Palate!

  16. I love this idea! Chard is so beautiful, and the fish so tender, with the sweetness of beets and the apples, and even the crab and cheese....just a wonderfully thought-out entry, and so many beautiful flavors and colors!

    Peter -- FotoCuisine.com

  17. I love what you have done here! The color, and ingredients are all of my favorites! making me hungry so early in the morning...

  18. what a delectable, vibrant, fancy, and creative dish! i'm completely impressed, and for the first time ever, i'm craving fish!

  19. What a gorgeous dish! I think it is the perfect entry and I am drooling now over the flavors. Wow. That filling is amazing and the whole dish is so orginal. And I'll bet it was fabulous to eat!

  20. Wow, that dish looks incredible! Talk about fitting the theme to a "t"...you've got the most vibrant colors going on. I love chard, so you had me hooked from the beginning. Not to mention, sea bass is one of my favs. And that pomegranate, hazelnut vinaigrette sounds incredible!! Great job. Looks like a winner to me :)


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