black bass dick's way

We're fish novices. We told him so. But we know food jargon. So when we asked Dick what to do with the black bass filets at the Ardmore Seafood counter in the Eastern Main Line Farmer's Market in Suburban Square one Saturday afternoon, he gave us the long story and we took it all in attentively. Fish with service. Great fish according to Dick. He cleaned each fillet for any remaining bones.

So the story was a simple butter capers and white wine sauce, fish started in pan and finished in the oven, served with freshly squeezed lemon juice and some balsamic vinegar spiced black bean sauce on the side. It was enticing. We went for it.


2.8 lb = 7 cleaned (deveined) black bass fillets = 28 bucks
  [5 to 7 oz per person]
salt and pepper
butter, olive oil for sautéing [just enough, not too much]
1/4 c capers
1/2 c white wine
more butter (2--3T)
lemon quarters for serving


  1. Clean the fillets by rinsing in water and then pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. Salt and pepper them.
  3. Sauté 2 fillets at a time in a nonstick pan with some olive oil and butter, flesh side upfirst only 2 minutes, then skin side down 2 minutes or less (it starts to curl up).
  4. Then remove to a baking pan (glass or ceramic) coated with cooking spray. Repeat until all fillets are done. We used 4 +3 in two0 8x12 in ceramic dishes.
  5. Add the capers and the wine and evaporate off. Then add 2 T butter. Melt. This part is the deglazing step.
  6. Pour the caper butter sauce over the fillets and put in a preheated (350º) oven for 5 minutes max to finish cooking the interior.
  7. Serve with freshly squeezed lemon (each recipient can handle this part) and some balsamic vinegar laced black bean sauce on the side.

balsamic vinegar laced black bean sauce

1 28oz can black beans, drained, sort of rinsed
4 t balsamic vinegar
1/4 t cayenne red pepper
1 T olive oil
salt to taste
  1. Puree in a food processor.
  2. Put in a small ceramic oven dish with cover.
  3. Leave in the oven during preheating and fish baking to warm it up.
  4. This could be a little more flowing in  texture. Wonder how you could achieve that?


  1. Dick had suggested serving this on a "bed of black bean sauce", but we did not want to freak out our in-laws and we didn't make enough anyway so we just served a heaping tablespoon on the side. Eating the fish and sauce in the same bite loses the fish flavor so it is best ingested with alternative forkfuls. The black beans could be easily used for other purposes since they are pretty tasty this way.
  2. Excellent. Thanks, Dick.
  3. We served this with fresh penne and vodka sauce first and thin asparagus and brussel sprouts on the side, after a prosciutto di san daniele and gallia melon appetizer. So we turned off the oven and opened the door a bit while we were occupied with the appetizer and pasta courses. Did not do damage.
blbassdw.htm: 16-aug-2006 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]