Moroccan Bass In Tomato-Vegetable Broth

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 4
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1/4 pound onions
1/4 pound leeks white only
2 ounces shallots
1/4 pound celeriac
1/4 pound carrots
2 ounces parsnips
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes -- seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic -- halved
1 stalk lemongrass
8 sprigs Italian parsley
1 teaspoon fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 pieces white peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 pieces star anise
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 ounce coriander seed
1/4 ounce anise seed
1/4 ounce raw fennel seed
1/4 ounce roasted fennel seed
1/2 ounce mustard seed
1/4 ounce cardamom seed
1/8 ounce cumin seed
3/8 ounce ginger powder
1 piece cinnamon 3/8 ounce st
1/4 ounce white peppercorns
1/4 ounce black peppercorns
1 piece bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon whole mace -- (or powdered)
1 pound fillet of wild sea bass -- skin on
1/2 teaspoon spice mix
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest -- finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon orange zest -- finely chopped
1 1/2 cups thin sliced and blanched vegetables -- zucchini, squash, baby carrots, spinach, tomatoes
1 pinches cayenne
---equal portions of the following herbs:
1 teaspoon tarragon snipped off the stem
1 teaspoon -- snipped chervil about 1 1/2 inches long
1 teaspoon -- snipped chives about 1 1/2 inches long
1 bunch herb tops for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

To make the broth, peel and chop the onions, leeks, shallots, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, chopped tomatoes, and garlic. Put the vegetables in a pot with 3 quarts of water. Add the remaining broth ingredients and simmer the broth slowly for 1 hour, skimming when necessary and correcting the seasoning in the last 15 minutes. Then strain and cool the broth quickly. To make the spice blend, put all the spices in a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. To cook the bass heat one cup of broth in a shallow pan. Cut the fillet into 4 portions. Season it with the blend of spices and the salt and cilantro. Place fillets in the broth and poach the bass, spooning the broth over the fish, until it is snowy white on the outside and just cooked and translucent in the middle, about 5 minutes. Heat 3 cups of broth in another pot. Add the lemon zest, orange zest, thinly sliced and blanched vegetables, cayenne, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Put the fish fillets in 4 heated, wide soup plates, ladle over some of the vegetables and herb broth, and garnish with herb tops. Suggested drink: Champagne Veuve Cliquot Brut, Reserve, 1988

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