Looking for a Masterchef recipe? This sea bass with tahini sauce, carrot and onion seed salad and saffron rice is exactly what you need. It's a great Nadia Sawalha recipe from The Masterchef Cookbook.
Could I have been on Masterchef?
Unfortunately, I wimped out and never got back to them so I'll never know if I could have got any further in the process. I rather suspect that my presentation skills would have let me down, especially in the way I dollop lots of sauce on everything rather than going for elegant drizzles.
You may not be able to tell but I made a real effort in the presentation of this sea bass dish. I did attempt to make the sauce look elegant but somehow my heavy-handed use of a spoon failed me. Next time I'll use a teaspoon.
The Masterchef Cookbook
Anyway, this book is fantastic, it has recipes taken from all three Masterchef competitions from 2006-2009. I don't remember many of the recipes from the shows but they all look and sound suitably Mastercheffy. Lots of jus', purees etc. It makes me feel that if I make a few of these then I really will be able to take my cooking to another level as they are so fond of saying.
Nadia Sawalha's Sea Bass Recipe with Tahini Sauce
I chose the Nadia Sawalha sea bass recipe as the first one to make as I already had all the ingredients. Innocently I thought it wouldn't take much preparation besides getting things out of cupboards. The only thing I knew I didn't have was baharat seasoning. So, I found a recipe for baharat seasoning online.
Luckily I had all the individual spices it contained. Since I first made this recipe though lots of supermarkets have started selling baharat. I now just buy it baharat seasoning in Sainsburys!
As I was making the recipe I realised I didn't have any almonds so I omitted almonds from the saffron rice. I also omitted the raisins, but only because I knew my husband would just pick them out!
Can you adapt this Sea bass recipe?
Firstly don't feel you need to make all the components. If you find it stressful preparing a few dishes at once then make the carrot and onion seed salad in advance. The tahini sauce can also be made in advance. If you love the baharat seasoning then use that on the fish too rather than the cumin and cinnamon. If you don't want to go to as much effort with the rice then just use plain rice.
If you think saffron is too expensive and don't want to buy it just for this recipe then miss it out and add a little turmeric to the rice instead.
Sea Bass with Tahini Sauce, Carrot and Onion Seed Salad and Saffron Rice
Ingredients for the Carrot and Onion Seed Salad
- 2 small onions finely sliced
- 1 large carrot grated
- pinch salt
- ¼ lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
Ingredients for the Tahini sauce
- 1 small garlic clove
- 50 ml tahini
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Ingredients for the Saffron Rice
- 12 g butter
- Pinch saffron
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 100 g basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon baharat spice
Ingredients for the Sea Bass
- 2 sea bass fillets
- ½ teaspoon cumin ground
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
How to Make the Carrot and Onion Seed Salad
- Fry the onions gently until they are caramelised. It will take about 30 minutes. Put them in a bowl with the carrot, salt and lemon juice.
- Add a little extra oil to the pan and fry the mustard and nigella seeds for about 30 seconds until they begin to pop.
- Remove from the heat immediately and mix in to the salad.
How to Make the Tahini Sauce
- Crush the garlic with the salt in a pestle and mortar, then add to the tahini in a bowl.
- Whisk in the lemon juice. It will be quite stiff. Whisk in some water, slowly until it reaches the consistency of double cream.
- Finally add the parsley. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as necessary.
How to Make the Saffron Rice
- Melt the butter in a pan. Add the rice and baharat seasoning. Stir so all the grains are coated in the seasoning and oil. Add the stock and the saffron. Bring to the boil then put the lid on a lower to a simmer. It will need about 20 minutes.
How to Cook the Sea Bass
- Mix the cumin and cinnamon together then rub into the fish. Heat a little olive oil and add the fish. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.