From the Chef's Kitchen: Almond-Crusted Chilean Sea Bass

Exclusive recipes, shared only with Pittsburgh Magazine, from some of Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants and chefs. This classic seafood dish comes from the kitchen of Joseph Tambellini Restaurant in Highland Park.
Almond-crusted Chilean sea bass
with Mandarin orange beurre blanc
and Wildberry marmalade

photo by laura petrilla


2 11-ounce cans mandarin oranges in light syrup
½ cup orange juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup red and blackberry melba sauce or fruit berry spread; you’ll need more for garnish
2 8-ounce Chilean sea bass filets
Freshly ground Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 ounces water (to steam fish)
¼ cup slivered, blanched almonds, lightly toasted


Drain the mandarin oranges, reserving the syrup. You should have about 1 cup (8 ounces) syrup.

For the beurre blanc: In a saucepan, combine the syrup and orange juice. Bring to a simmer and reduce to ½ cup. Add the whipping cream and reduce, stirring frequently, until the mixture is a mustard color and coats the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile, prepare the wildberry marmalade: Reserve six whole mandarin orange segments for the garnish. Place some or all of the remaining whole orange segments into a small skillet and combine them with 1 cup fruit sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until reduced to a jam-like consistency. The fruit will caramelize — watch closely, stirring occasionally, to avoid burning.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper the filets, to taste. Place the filets into a small baking dish just big enough to hold the fish in one layer. Pour in a little water and cook in the hot oven for 10 minutes per inch of thickness at the thickest point. Halfway through cooking, add a little more water to keep the fish from drying out. Three to five minutes from the end of cooking, sprinkle the fish with the toasted almonds. The fish is done when the flesh flakes when touched with a fork.

Pour a pool of the beurre blanc onto 2 dinner plates. Gently lift each piece of fish off the baking dish — a flexible fish spatula works best for this — and place them onto one side of the dishes. Place three mandarin orange segments on the dishes opposite the fish. Dot the top of the fish with some of the marmalade. Drizzle some of the remaining fruit sauce around the fish and mandarin oranges, and, if desired, run a knife through the sauce to make a decorative pattern.

Serves 2.

Joseph Tambellini Restaurant
5701 Bryant St., Highland Park; 412/665-9000, Learn more about Joseph Tambellini Restaurant in our 2017 Best Restaurants issue.

Categories: Eat + Drink Features