I often say I feel like Rip Van Winkle – like I fell asleep, and suddenly woke up twenty years later.

Julie Anne & Tatjana nineteen years ago
One of the reasons I am too preoccupied to write much at the moment is that my daughter, Tatjana is home for a fleeting visit before racing back to London to begin work on her third film as an editor trainee since graduating University of the Arts London last summer.
Tatjana & Julie Anne July 10th, 2009

 

Exactly a year ago this week she received her Graphic Design Degree in Moving Image from Central St. Martins College of Art & Design.
The masses of graduates illustrated by the waiting robes

Watching Tatjana prepare

The Graduate


Of course I was extremely proud of my daughter, but an overwhelming wave of emotion caught me off guard as I sat next to her father. The organ bellowed through the grand hall as we watched our only child receive her diploma – a hard earned accomplishment neither of her parents had achieved before her. Tears of joy streamed down my face uncontrollably, which no doubt embarrassed my “stiff upper lip” British ex husband…

Nick Rhodes

Nick, his mother Sylvia, Tatjana, and Julie Anne
… but not half as much when he was forbidden to have a bite of lunch until our food had been properly photographed at Locanda Locatelli afterwards. If he could have dug a hole to hide in, he surely would have (which I have to admit I found secretly amusing). I think I might have made a wise crack about his broken ankle too. As you already know – karma caught up with me on that one!

Fillet of Wild Sea Bass on Artichoke Heart
The presentation of my wild sea bass was magnificent, and it was cooked to perfection. I couldn’t wait to come home and do my own rendition. It is absolutely perfect for a romantic dinner for two, or if you are like me, a scintillating, guilt free indulgence for one regardless of occasion.
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

Artichoke
  • 2 whole artichokes
  • 6 cups of water
  • juice of 1 lemon
Tomato-Basil Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Wild Sea Bass
  • 1/4 cup panko or fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 6 ounce wild sea bass fillets
  • olive oil spray
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions:

Artichoke

1). Bring water to boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.

2). Chop about an inch off the top of the artichokes, trim off any small leaves around the bottom, and cut off any excess stem.

3). Cook artichokes in the boiling water for 25-40 minutes (time varies due to size of artichoke), until outer leaves pull off easily. Remove from water, drain, and cool enough to handle.

4). Remove all outer leaves except for bottom row to form the flower. Using a knife or a spoon, remove all the inner leaves and fuzzy “choke” until artichoke heart is revealed. Place on dinner plates, squeeze fresh lemon juice over each artichoke, and set aside until ready to serve.

Tomato-Basil Sauce

5). Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds to one minute, then add garlic, stirring for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add diced tomato, stir well, and simmer to reduce liquid for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs.

Wild Sea Bass

6). Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

7). While the tomato sauce is cooking, mix the panko, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, parsley, and lemon zest in a small bowl, and set aside.

8). Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray. Rinse sea bass fillets, pat dry, and place on the sprayed pan. Spray more olive oil spay on top of the fillets, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in preheated oven for ten minutes (per one inch thickness). Remove from oven. Top with panko and Parmesan mixture, and roast for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

9). To serve, drizzle the prepared artichoke heart with tomato-basil sauce, and top with wild sea bass fillet.

Serving Suggestions: I love this dish exactly as it is, but for a hardier appetite add a side dish of linguine tossed in the tomato sauce, and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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