Baked Sea Bass with Morels and Red Wine Sauce
This is an entrée with a lot "going on" flavor-wise.
The clam juice, morels, wine, ramps and fish seem
like an unlikely combination. The truth is that
this is a beautiful marriage and results in a
medley of flavors that sing in unison. You will need
some parchment for baking the fish.
Reserve ¼ cup of clam juice, and bring the remaining 1 ¼ cup to a boil in a small saucepan.
Add the dried morels and remove from the heat. Let the mushrooms stand in the clam broth until they're soft. This should take about a half-hour.
Strain the mixture, reserving both the mushrooms and the soaking liquid separately.
Preheat the oven to about 475 degrees.
Use your parchment to form heart-shaped packets. Stack two 14-inch square pieces of parchment, folding in half to form a rectangle. Cut a "valentine" shape out of the parchment, then open the hearts and brush each with oil.
Place 1 fish fillet on half of each heart, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Top the fish with the morels, dividing equally among all the fish.
Fold the parchment over the fish, folding the edges tightly to seal the fish completely. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque in the center. This should take about 15 minutes.
Simmer wine and the ramps in a saucepan until the wine is reduced to about ¼ of a cup, then add the reserved mushroom liquid. Continue to boil until it reduces again, this time to about ½ cup.
Mix the cornstarch in the remaining ¼ cup of clam juice. Whisk it into the sauce and simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens.