Loup de Mer au Pernod

Branzino with Fennel and Pernod Beurre Blanc

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Branzino Ingredients:

1 Branzino,  cut dorsal fin, gilled/scaled/cleaned
¼ cup olive oil
1/4 bell pepper, fine julienne
1 onion, fine julienne
1/4 fennel, fine julienne
3 oz, or 8 each, cherry tomatoes
6 Niçoise olives
3 oz fennel confit
1 oz chopped Parsley
1 pinch chopped fresh garlic
1 pinch fresh chopped thyme
¼ tsp ground fennel seeds
¼ tsp ground anise seed

Pernod Beurre Blanc Ingredients:

4 oz fresh fennel trimmings
2 cups fish stock
1 tbs Champagne vinegar
1 cup white wine
4 sliced shallots
3 fresh bay leaves
4 star anise
¼ tsp ground fennel seeds
¼ tsp ground anise seed
1 tbs Pernod
4 oz cream
10 oz butter, softened

Branzino Directions:

Warm up olive oil in a sauté pan, then add onions and simmer for about 4 minutes until it is cooked but still firm.
Then add fennel and red pepper, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, and add ground fennel seed and anise seed.  Finish with chopped garlic.
Remove from the heat, add freshly chopped thyme, and refrigerate.
To prepare the fish, remove the bone by cutting delicately between the fillets of the Branzino from the back of the fish, cleaning and removing the innards
Using a sharp knife, make 3 slashes (score) across fish at an angle.
Rub the inside the fish with salt and pepper, and the outside the fish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Also season the outside with salt, pepper, ground fennel seed, and ground anise seed.
Fill the inside the fish with red bell pepper mixture.
Preheat your grill and add fish when it is very hot. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pernod Beurre Blanc Directions:

In a small sauce pan, put all the ingredients except the Pernod, cream, and butter.
Bring to boil and simmer until reduce to 80%, then add cream and reduce by 1/4 in order to stabilize the butter.
Add soft butter and boil until creamy consistence.
Add Pernod when you are ready to serve.

When Ready to Serve:

In a sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil and bake the fish for 8 minutes, depending on the weight of the fish.
Serve with the Pernod beurre blanc, confit fennel, cherry tomatoes and Niçoise olives.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.