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Polenta-Crusted Sea Bass with
Corn and Tomatillo Salsa



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Polenta-Crusted Sea Bass with
Corn and Tomatillo Salsa

Union Square Cafe Cookbook:
160 Favorite Recipes from
New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

By Danny Meyer and Michael Romano, 1994, HarperCollins

“A polenta coating gives the fish a crackling, nutty-tasting outer crust,
leaving the flesh juicy and tender. The corn and tomatillo salsa is also
delicious as an accompaniment to barbecued chicken or pork, or as
a dip for chips.”

Serves 4

1 ear of corn, in the husk
6 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed (1/2 pound)
1/3 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomato
1/3 cup peeled, seeded and minced jalapeño pepper
1/3 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
1/3 cup peeled and diced red onion
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup medium-ground polenta or cornmeal
Four 6-ounce fillets of sea bass,
red snapper, or catfish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pull back the corn husk just enough to expose the silk. Remove the
silk and close the husk back over the ear of corn. Roast the corn
for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to
handle, peel the husk and cut the kernels from the cob.
3. Place the tomatillos in a small saucepan with enough water to barely
cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until soft but not
falling apart, about 5 minutes. Drain the tomatillos and purée in a
blender until completely smooth.
4. In a bowl, combine the puréed tomatillos, roasted corn, tomatoes,
jalapeño, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, cilantro, and lime juice.
Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. The salsa
may be prepared 6 to 8  hours ahead to this point and kept covered
in the refrigerator. [Remove in time to serve at room temperature.]
5. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
6. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow bowl and sprinkle the polenta
onto a dinner plate. Season the fish fillets with the remaining salt
and pepper. Dip the fillets into the buttermilk then dredge in
the polenta.
7. Sauté the fish until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer
the fillets to a warm platter and serve with the room-temperature
salsa on the side.

More from The Union Square Cafe:
Cacciucco di Pesce (Tuscan
Seafood Stew)

Cod with Radicchio, White Beans,
and Lemon Vinaigrette

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Citrus-
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Vinaigrette,
Broccoli Rabe, and Roast Tomatoes
Shrimp with "Gazpacho" Sauce

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