One of my favorite restaurants of all time is Michael Mina in the Bellagio.
Scott and I got married in Las Vegas and each year for our first few anniversaries, we’d go to Vegas to celebrate.
A meal at Michael Mina is a must-do if you’re in Vegas. It’s fancy, it’s fabulous, and they have phenomenal food, including amazing Chilean sea bass.
I wanted to recreate something a little bit fancy at home because weekend trips to the Bellagio with a five year old in tow aren’t happening any
decade time soon.
You know the old expression, champagne taste, beer budget? Champagne taste, champagne vinegar budget is fits, too.
I tossed oranges, cucumbers, dill, and ground mustard with agave and champagne vinegar and this little relish turned out so well that I plan to make it during warmer weather as a side salad or a topping for just about anything from tofu to grilled portobellos.
Champagne vinegar is about $10 dollars for a bottle and that last you many, many recipes.
Or you could make this relish with rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
The sea bass was perfect. Was it Michael Mina at home? I don’t want to give myself that much credit but Scott said it was the best at-home fish I’ve ever made. I’ll take it.
And I’ll take a trip to the Bellagio, too, thanks honey, love ya. I can dream.
Orange Glazed Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Mustard Dill Cucumber & Orange Champagne Relish (Gluten-Free)
Mustard Dill Cucumber & Orange Champagne Relish
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon agave (or 1 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon water)
1/4 teaspoon ground yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon dill
pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Optional pinches: cayenne, garlic, onion, curry or a seasoning blend such as Mrs. Dash
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/3 cup diced orange (half of an orange)
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except cucumber and orange, stir to combine. Add the sliced cumber and orange to the bowl, stir and toss to coat. Set aside. You can make this ahead of time, up to 24 hours in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The longer the relish sits, the more the cucumber and orange will release juices, but the more the flavors will marry.
Orange Glazed Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass
2 Chilean Sea Bass filets (mine were very generous, about 8 ounces each)
1/2 orange (the unused half from the relish)
2 tablespoons olive oil+
generous pinch of sea salt or kosher salt and pepper, to taste
fish sauce for final drizzle, optional
Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray, place the fish in it, squeeze the juice of half an orange evenly over the top of the fish, drizzle evenly with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook fish over medium-high heat for approximately 6 minutes on the first side, flip and cook (covered) for 2-3 more minutes, adding more oil as needed. Since all pieces and cuts of fish differ, cooking times will vary. Fish is done when it’s opaque and white. Due to carry over cooking, the fish will continue to cook even after removed from the heat source; take care not to overcook while it’s still in the pan, as it will become tough and rubbery as it cools and when served. Allow fish to rest for a couple minutes, plate it, spoon relish over the top or on the side, drizzle with fish sauce if desired, and serve.
Note: If you can’t find Chilean sea bass or want to substitute a less expensive or easier to find fish, I suggest Mahi Mahi, red snapper, tuna steaks, tilapia, cod, or whatever looks good in the fish case. Or, try unbreaded frozen fish filets, which will likely be cheaper than fresh, and which can be prepared using this recipe after they’ve thawed.
If you’ve never had sea bass, it tastes like chicken because everything tastes like chicken, right?
Okay, no, it does not taste like chicken. It has an ever-so-slightly sweet undertone and it’s not “fishy”. It’s not a particularly strong-flavored fish like salmon or tuna can sometimes be with their very distinctive flavor. Rather, it’s neutral but in a perfectly understated way.
It’s also a fairly firm and hearty fish and not flaky or too delicate and stands up very well to pan searing.
I simply drizzled olive oil and the juice of half an orange over the fish, seasoned with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cooked over medium high heat, flipping once.
While the fish is cooking, you can make the relish, or if you plan ahead, making the relish up to 24 hours in advance is not only okay, it’s preferred because the flavors have time to marry.
After the fish was done cooking, I drizzled some fish sauce over the top, added the relish and a side salad, and dinner
at Michael Mina’s at my house on a Monday night was served.
This was a splurgey dinner, but I think it’s important every now and then to keep dinners from feeling humdrum and this sure beats frozen corn dogs on a stick.
Plus, meals like these are reminders of fun times and delicious meals Scott and I used to eat out at fancy restaurants.
The family could have torn through another $50 dollars worth of sea bass if I had it, but I didn’t.
So we moved onto dessert.
Other fish and seafood recipes include:
Pan Seared Caribbean Citrus Mahi Mahi with Brown Rice Noodles
Pan Seared Lemon Pepper Grouper with Sweet Dipping Sauce
Szechuan Shrimp Stir Fry with Fried Rice
Do you like fish and do you make it at home? (links welcome if you have a great recipe)
How often do you cook “fancier” food versus more “average” fare?
Life can be one series of busy weeks. It starts Monday, it ends Friday, it’s rush-rush-rush, blur-hurryup-fast-paced in between.
Sometimes it’s not only nice, it’s necessary to put down the frozen pizza box and venture into fancier territory.
And then when I’m done being fancy, making strawberry cake in a mug in the microwave is great. Everything has its place.
Thanks for the Enjoy Life Plentils Chips Giveaway entries
Thanks for sharing this recipe. My sea bass was almost siilky in texture and the bright flavors of the orange and cuke were perfect. The bonus is that it is also quick and easy. I just wish the darn sea bass wasn’t so expensive, but it was sure worth it. This is definitely a keeper!
I’m so glad you liked it! I love the flavors of orange + cuke…so good, even just as a little quickie summer side salad. I know, sea bass is very pricey – definitely a treat. You could try this with tilapia which is about 1/10th the price!
Please do not buy Chilean sea bass. This is a fish caught in the Ross Sea area of the Antarctic Ocean, perhaps the last remaining pristine marine environment on earth. This fish – its real name is the Antarctic toothfish – is crucial to the ecosystem there. Currently we are campaigning to stop the fishing, and the possible fatal impact on whales and seals. Please watch http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/blog/the-last-ocean-film/blog/41344/
and you will understand.
Please do not buy Chilean sea bass. This is a fish caught in the Ross Sea area of the Antarctic Ocean, perhaps the last remaining pristine marine environment on earth. This fish – its real name is the Antarctic toothfish – is crucial to the ecosystem there. Currently we are campaigning to stop the fishing, and the possible fatal impact on whales and seals. Please watch
and you will understand.
LOVE the colours in this post. That fish looks so pretty!
thanks, Jolene, and I think you’d like it!
Averie, this looks good and perfect in every single way. Wow. Beyond impressed.
Thanks for the pin, too!
Great combination of flavors in your recipe! And combined with chilean sea bass… wonderful!
That looks magnificent!! I love the simple, fresh ingredients. We just tried Chilean sea bass last month; it’s SO GOOD! I am crazy about seafood, we eat it several times a week. So yummy. This recipe is a winner, great job. :)
Glad that Dustin was on board :)
This looks so appealing! I have some of Trader Joe’s orange muscat champagne vinegar which would be perfect for this. Have you ever cooked Swai before? I haven’t, but have 2 fillets in my freezer waiting to find a good way to prepare them. Perhaps this will be it. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you like it and no I haven’t cooked Swai. Ive never bought that vinegar; will keep an eye out.
I have to agree with the other comments I’ve seen. I may not eat fish, but your pictures are beautiful!
Delicious and decadent is good-especially if you’re celebrating an anniversary…in which case happy day! Also- hadn’t seen the cinnamon bun pie recipe before…gahhhhhh!
Averie, look at you with this stunning + elegant sea bass!!! I have been to the Bellagio ~ but never to MM’s restaurant. Now I need to go. Or I need to make this sea bass.
We need to go to the Bellagio together. Seriously, MM is probably my fave restaurant, of all time, ever. Across the globe, worldwide. I am super picky and even held to a ridiculous standard, they are…amazing.
So beautiful!! I love this! I’ve never had chilean sea bass, but this sounds incredible!!
Although Chipotle isn’t “gourmet”, we love to recreate our own bowls at home! This looks delicious, I love sea bass.
Some days non-gourmet (okay most days!) is the calling card!
I did a double-take when I saw the title of this post! A savory dish? No way! I LOVE sweets, but I’m glad to see this change! Looks delicious. Lovely photos, as usual. :)
I do have quite a few, they just don’t get as much “attention” :)
People tend to love their sweets it seems!
Where do you like to shop for seafood? I tried Catalina Offshore but returned to Point Loma Seafood – their new shop/market is open. Love your recipe – saving for a special occasion at our house.
Such a grab bag…there is no one set place. Whatever looks good but usually just at…Ralph’s.
Wow! What a gorgeous, colorful and healthy dish! This will definitely be making an appearance on my plate soon. Fabulous recipe, Averie!
Thanks, Georgia, and keep me posted if you do make it!
I need this to slide down my throat, rah naw.
I love cooking fancier dishes at home– even now, before we have kids, I’d almost rather do that than eat out. So many times, we go to eat out at a nice, fancy restaurant…and I’m a little disappointed by the food, and it feels like a waste of money!
The more I’ve learned to cook and the higher I set the bar, the more disappointed I am when I go out many times! For the money and time investment, I want it to be amazing and many times it’s just “okay”. I bet you’re the same way :)
Love this seafood recipe! We both had fish on the brain today
i am the biggest seafood fan you may ever meet….and this just made me salivate!!! need it now averie!
Hi Averie. This looks so fresh and healthy. I love eating dishes like this because I feel so good afterwards. I also think my kids would dig this as well.
I just made the relish because I happened to have all the ingredients (no fish unfortunately!) and
Its AWESOME!! I ate it as salsa with chips. So good! Thank you! I can’t wait to try it on fish.
I think you get the award for the fastest recipe-making in recent memory…that was fast!
And I am soooo glad you liked it! So good, easy, and just an all-around good thing to put on everything from chips to fish to grilled veggie burgers, right! :)
Thanks for the feedback!!
This looks so yummy! I love the bright relish! Perfect light meal!
Ok averie, this post belongs in a magazine. these pictures are incredible. oh, and the recipe isn’t so bad either… ;) i LOVE LOVE LOVE fish and that orange glaze has me falling off my seat! looks sooo scrumptious. :)
Thank you for the compliments on all levels. I was really happy with the pics AND the recipe…thank you so much for noticing :)
“Champagne taste, champagne vinegar budget”—love it. I really wish I cooked more fish at home—frozen shrimp is about as fancy as it gets lately. I might have to change that soon. It’s been way too long since I’ve made pan-seared anything.
I’m glad you caught my little joke :) At least I amused someone other than myself. lol
Dill is (hands down) one of my very favorite herbs; it’s so fresh and distinct. The orange, cucumber, dill combo sounds so exciting . . . sounds like I’m going to have to get some sea bass :)
One last thing – I made a vegan version of your mug cake/muffin using your suggestions (flax egg and coconut oil) and it turned out great! Thanks for your help!
Oh I am so glad to hear the vegan mug cake worked! YAY! I love the feedback! If you have a second, could you copy/paste that part of this comment into this post (it may help someone else who’s on the fence!) If not, no worries girlie.
Delicious relish … I love to cook and think I am good at it … however I do not or at least am not confident in my fish making abilities … if there is a seafood or fish recipe to be cooked or cooked with lime or citrus I am your gal, but fish itself … I am not so confident … I must try your gorgeous recipe!
You are an amazing cook & anyone who can just whip up a batch of jelly or anything else you make at the drop of a hat can handle fish. I never used to be confident either but seriously, put it in a pan, 6 mins first side, 2-3 mins next side, done (for thicker fish) or 4-5 and then 1-2 mins for thinner cuts. So easy!
Oooh, I want this for dinner!!
Gorgeous plate of food Averie! Definitely looks like a restaurant-quality meal. We just went to Vegas for the first time last summer and absolutely loved it. We’re already planning a return trip :)
We don’t even gamble and Vegas has soooo much to do! The shows, the food, the shopping, the people-watching, I love it. For about 3 days at a time :)
MMMMM I want to try that Chilean Sea Bass recipe. Again, thanks for keeping the gluten-free people in mind :)
You’re eating fish…oh my gosh!
had no idea!
I am TOTALLY craving fish right now so DANGIT woman!!!!
I think I have some white fish in the freezer so I may have to be creative and make something fancy for myself.
Not very often but a couple times a year, I have a couple bites when it looks as good as this was :)
I thought you were deathly allergic to seafood and it sent you to the hospital in a Thai restaurant??
Shrimp, yes, I am!
This is why I love the new direction of your blog!! I am all about the desserts, clearly, but this right here? YES!!
Simple, easy, elegant, and it looks like something someone slaved over. I am not a big fan of fishy fish at all, and I’ve never actually tried sea bass. Wait, no. I had some on a beach in Costa Rica. I bet this dinner came together super fast too!
That relish has my name all over it! I can see that going with so many things – roasted/grilled veggies, stuffed into mushrooms and baked, on chicken, as a side. It makes me think of BBQs. Gah, I can’t wait for summer…
The relish is perfect for you. I was thinking of you when I made it and yes, I can see it going with soooo many things this spring/summer around here, too!
You sure do cook some beautiful fish dishes! Seafood lover that I am, I will certainly try this–I just hope I can get sea bass (haven’t seen it at my usual grocery store in a few months). I make fish quite often–it cooks quickly and I usually do a simple seasoning so I think fish is a fast, easy meal. The relish looks like a perfect compliment–I can see why the meal got rave reviews!!!
Thanks for the compliments, Paula. Sea bass can be tricky to find sometimes but you could use the preparation technique with so many different types of fish like I mentioned if you want to make substitutions based on what’s available.
This sounds incredible! I need to try Sea Bass, and dill is a favorite of mine!
Mmmmm yum yum.
love love love this!
I’m jealz of all the seafood you can probably get!
WOW! I can almost smell those oranges from you pics, great new way for me to try fish without a half inch of batter! Do you think it would work just as well with Mandarin Oranges? They had some ones fresh at the Asian market this week. Thanks!
Yes absolutely would work!
LOVE this averie, aboslutely love everything about this (okay except the cucumber but I could easily sub that). And I’ve never had sea bass but I can tell I’d love it, it looks like a mild tasting fish and I do love most all fish these days. Bet the family loved this one!
I have a feeling you’d love it!
I might not eat that at all, but it sure looks spectacular!
I tried to make it look pretty even if you wouldn’t personally eat fish :)
I am OBSESSED with Chilean sea bass – thank you for the recipe!
My kind of meal! I love sea bass and this relish is making my mouth water like crazy!
We need a meetup…sea bass and then Milk Bar desserts :)
Looks like my kinda dinner- love it!
I’ll trade you this if you can make me one of your red velvet dessert creations. I am still thinking about that red velvet cake of yours!