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Crisp Paupiette of Sea Bass in a Barolo Sauce

Chef Daniel BouludThis recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Chef Daniel Boulud. Born in France, he was raised on his family's farm near Lyon, where he grew up surrounded by the rhythms of the seasons, the wonders of produce fresh from the fields, and of course, his grandmother's inspiring home cooking . . . if you want to know more have a look at his biography page <click here>

To visit the web site of Daniel Boulud <click here>

This particular recipes comes from DB Bistro Moderne and Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City

This particular recipes comes from the Cooking with Daniel Boulud and Restaurant DANIEL

Daniel Boulud says: "Paul Bocuse's Rouget en Écailles de Pomme de Terre inspired this exquisite dish of tender fish fillets wrapped in a crisp crust of sliced potatoes. But since those beautifully briny red mullets from the Mediterranean are rarely available in this country, I suggest sea bass, which makes a superb substitute. For the sauce, I chose Barolo wine, one of the best wines of Piemonte (northwestern Italy), in honor of Sirio Maccioni, the owner of Le Cirque restaurant. I was duly flattered when Chef Bocuse sent the chefs from his restaurant at Epcot Center in Florida to Le Cirque to learn my adaptation of his recipe. You can assemble this dish up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep it refrigerated before cooking and serving it".


For the Paupiette of Sea Bass:
4 sea bass fillets, 7 ounces each, skinless, bones set aside for the sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh thyme: 1 sprig leaves only, chopped, and 2 sprigs halved for garnish
2 very large baking potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Leeks:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking
1/2 cup peeled and chopped shallots
1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms, caps only
1/2 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 bottle (750 ml) of Barolo wine or other good red cooking wine
1 tablespoon heavy cream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced chives


For the Paupiette of Sea Bass:

  • Make each fillet as rectangular as possible (about 5 inches by 2 inches) by trimming off uneven edges with a sharp knife. Salt and pepper the fillets and sprinkle them with a teaspoon of the chopped thyme.
  • Using a knife, shape each potato lengthwise by cutting off the rounded outer flesh to form 4 rectangular slices (do not cut off the tips of the potatoes). Cut each potato lengthwise into very thin, long slices with a vegetable slicer or mandoline. Each potato should yield about 16 slices (8 slices are needed to wrap 1 fish fillet). Do not rinse the potato slices as their starch will help the wrapped slices stick together.
  • Toss the potato slices in 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted, and a pinch of salt. Place a 10-inch square piece of parchment paper on the counter. Choose 8 potato slices of approximately the same length. Place a fillet of fish horizontally at the top of the parchment paper so you can match the length of the potato wrap to the length of the fish. Place the first slice of potato perpendicular to the fish starting on the left side. Place a second slice overlapping the first one by about 3/8 inch from the left edge. Continue overlapping the potato slices until you have covered an area equal to the length of the fillet of fish. Center the fish horizontally in the middle of the potato wrap and fold the edges of the potatoes over the fish to enclose it entirely. Repeat the same process for the remaining fillets and refrigerate.

For the Leeks:

  • Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sweat until soft, about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on the side.

For the Sauce:

  • Heat the oil in a pot over high heat. Add the reserved sea bass bones, the shallots, mushrooms, and thyme sprig and roast for 8 to 10 minutes while stirring often. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and cook until completely reduced. Add the Barolo wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half.
  • Remove and discard the fish bones with a mesh skimmer. Reduce the sauce to 2 tablespoons. Add the heavy cream, stir, and bring to a boil over low heat. Whip in the butter, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce with a fine mesh strainer and keep warm on the side. (If the sauce is too thick add a little water to thin it.)

To cook the paupiette of sea bass:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Add the paupiettes of sea bass and sauté until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. If the fish is very thick, finish cooking in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.


  • Place a bed of leeks in the middle of 4 warm serving plates and ladle the sauce around the leeks (about 2 tablespoons per plate). Place a paupiette of sea bass on top of the leeks and garnish with 1/2 sprig of thyme. Sprinkle the plate with the minced chives.

Serves 4

Bon appetit . . . . .

Daniel Boulud
To visit his web site <click here>