Porcini Rubbed Fillet and Potato Wrapped Sea Bass from Certified Steak and Seafood

Here is a meal sure to please the one you love. This porcini rubbed fillet and potato wrapped sea bass  were served last week for Valentines Day. I’ve been working with Certified Steak and Seafood recently and love trying to amp up basic fillet and sea bass with creativity. Like here.

When another shipment arrived, I wanted something quick, but elegant. Being winter ,tons of potatoes arrive  in my organic delivery. In order to use them up,I’ve been playing with potato galettes and other dishes.Is there anything more elegant than a paper thin slice  from a mandolin? I knew sheer potato slices  would be perfect for the fish. For the beef fillet, I pulverized dried porcini mushrooms into a fine dust and seasoned with salt and pepper.

This meal didn’t take long, and within 45 minutes to an hour, I had dinner on the table for two. The key is preparation. You want to slice your potatoes quickly and season, and wrap. The recipe I used for inspiration for the sea bass can be found here. I skipped the chilling part, and dealt with unraveling potatoes , which I saved. So I suggest you chill your fish. I used the wine sauce as a bed for both the fish and steak served with roasted vegetables.

Porcini Rubbed Fillet
Recipe type: Entree
  • 1 pint dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • 2 Fillets of Beef
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  1. In a food processor or spice meal, grind the dried porcinis to a fine powder.
  2. Toss the fillets in the Porcini powder to coat.
  3. Heat non stick skillet to med high with olive oil. You will have to adjust heat if too high, etc.
  4. Add fillets to pan and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sear each side 8 min on each side for rare, Increase time to desired level of doneness.
  6. Let sit/rest for a few minutes and serve.

Certified Steak and Seafood is offering you $25 off your entire order. I think you will pleased with the high quality of their products.

 This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.



Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Fillet with Wasabi Butter from Certified Steak and Seafood

I think this meal of Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Filet with Wasabi Butter from Certified Steak and Seafood, would be awesome for a special New Years Eve Dinner or Réveillon. Certified Steak and Seafood, via my partnership with Foodie Blogroll, were kind enough to send me two Prime Certified Angus Beef Fillets and two Chilean Sea Bass pieces, to create with. Knowing me, I decided to get creative. For a few weeks in the Restaurant Depot, while shopping for clients, I’ve been seeing these curious sea vegetables from Asia called Salty Fingers. They are crunchy, salty, and slightly bitter. I knew they would pair well with my sea bass.

Taking even further cues from the diversity of Asia, I started piecing together more ingredients that are staples in my pantry. Miso , Seaweed, Sesame Oil, etc. I know it’s a cliche, but who doesn’t like some sort of surf and turf? I pan roasted my Sea Bass with a Miso Glaze, and then wrapped in super thin rice paper with a strip of Seaweed. The Fillet I just seared for a few minutes on each side and topped with salted butter blended with wasabi powder.Fresh grated Wasabi would be even better if you can find it. The salad is lightly sauteed oyster mushrooms tossed with Pea Shots, salty fingers, diced pickled garlic, shaved shallots, and dressing of Sesame Oil, Rice Vinegar, Ponzu Soy Sauce ,minced garlic ,salt and pepper. This served as a nice medium with steamed white rice between the fish and beef. This meal may seem complicated , but it’s not . If you set it all up, it should be ready in approximately  thirty minutes cooking/ grilling time.


Certified Steak and Seafood is offering you a coupon code (FBR125D) to get a $25 discount off their order.

Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Fillet with Wasabi Butter and Pea Shot and Salty Finger Salad
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 Chilean Sea Bass Steaks
  • 2 Angus Beef Filet Mignon
  • Miso Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons White Miso
  • 2 Tablespoons Ponzu Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( any light neutral tasting oil)
  • Super Thin Rice Paper
  • 1 sheet seaweed
  • Wasabi Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
  • 2 tablespoons softened Salted Butter
  • Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Pea Shot Salad
  • 3 cups Washed Pea Shots
  • ½ cup Salty Fingers ( Specialty Produce Stores)
  • Several Cloves Pickled garlic ( Available in Korean Stores)
  • 1 shallot shaved thin
  • ⅓ cup sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive or pomace oil
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Ponzu Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Oyster Mushrooms
  • Oil
  1. In a small bowl whisk together, Miso,brown sugar, Ponzu soy, oil, and Mirin.
  2. Add Sea Bass to Miso Glaze and let marinate.
  3. Line a roasting pan with parchment and preheat oven to 525.
  4. In a skillet lightly saute the oyster mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Wash and Prep your pea shots and salty fingers.Add pickled garlic and shallots to mix.
  6. Mix your dressing of sesame oil, ponzu soy, rice vinegar, oil, , garlic,etc and whisk until emulsified.
  7. Mix Wasabi powder and softened butter and keep cool.
  8. Heat your grill pan or indoor grilling device to searing temp ( over 425 F).
  9. Place Sea Bass on pan lined with parchment with Miso Glaze and roast for 10 -15 minutes until glaze starts to caramelize. Check temp and lower if necessary so glaze doesn't burn.
  10. Once done, carefully remove sea bass and place on a sheet of dampened rice paper with a seaweed strip. Roll sea bass and tuck in ends of paper so fish is encased.
  11. Season Beef Fillets with salt and pepper and grill for a minutes on each side to desired doneness. Approximately 5 minuted each side for rare to med rare.
  12. Remove from grill and top with a pat of Wasbi Butter.
  13. Toss Pea Shot Salad with dressing and sauteed warm mushrooms and serve with steamed white rice and the sea bass and fillet.

After a rough week for Certain Someone and I , this was a great dinner for the end of the work week. He was both impressed with the quality of meat and fish , in addition to my creative spin. I wont mention where he orders his frozen fillets from, but I definitely think this was a more superior product  from Certified Steak and Seafood.




I wish all of you safe , happy , and warm holidays filled with warmth and cheer. Thanks for following me on my journey with Coco Cooks.


This is a sponsored  post , but the opinions remain my own. This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.

Our commitment to our customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. We source directly with no ‘middle man’ making our supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows us to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate. On top of this, we sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase from us is pure and safe.

Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood direct. The brothers experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.

They have vast experience in sourcing and selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade — and bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores demand – and at a direct price that gives you tremendous value for every purchase.


Bertolli Italian Wedding Soup with Kale Caprese Salad

Cooking and Eating Well on the Run. Bertolli Soups and Salmon Rillettes Tartines

I work with Bertolli on occasion and always love to receive new products.  Life has been mainly cooking and eating on the run these days.The fast few months the new range of Bertolli  Meal Soups for Two have saved many meals and situations , as I have been :

  • too tired to cook
  • working  or catering and not able cook
  • Certain Someone has no dinner while I’m away working or zoned out from fatigue.

Even industry people take shortcuts. You know the saying about the cobblers kids having no shoes, the hairdresser having bad hair, etc. While we work for others , we sometimes neglect whats at home. If I had to take a shortcut I love the tasty frozen Bertolli soups. These come excellently packaged with frozen cubes of excellent stock, meat and vegetables. It couldn’t be easier. My favorite was the Italian Wedding. I made this with a quick Kale Caprese Salad of chopped kale, small mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, pesto , balsamic and oil. Dinner in about 10-15 minutes.  Check them out.

Another quick item, stretchable item  to make this winter or even for holiday entertaining, that would pair perfectly with a nice soup , bisque or risotto , is a short cut salmon rillette. I found wild sockeye salmon in cans at Costco that’s far superior than any canned salmon I’ve seen. I purchased a small tub of lox trimmings for less than $3 and made this amazing spread. Try it as a tartine on fresh baguette or on tiny crostini. It’s quite addictive.

Salmon Rillettes Tartines
Prep time: 
Total time: 
A quick and easy salmon spread
  • 1 6 oz can Wild Sockeye Salmon
  • ½ cup lox trimmings or any type pf smoked salmon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon capers packed in salt ( you can use more or less)
  • 1 shallot shaved
  • 1 fresh baguette
  1. Combine  both types of salmon, spices, lemon, butter and oil in a bowl .
  2. Pulse with an immersion blender to a paste.
  3. Gently fold in capers.
  4. Shave thin slices of shallot.
  5. Spread salmon paste on bread slices.
  6. Top with shallots and additional chives.
  7. Serve.
You can use an immersion blender or food processor. Chilling improves the flavor.


Some New Technology and a Farewell to the Culinary Mecca Charlie Trotters

The past few weeks have been insanely crazy. I have catered three successful events, held down the day job, cleared and cleaned out my old condo for visitors. In addition to all of this I signed on the become Midwest Savvy Gourmets for Verizon and culminated the week with a long-awaited reservation to Charlie Trotters. So where shall I begin? Lets start with the cool XYBOARD from Verizon I was given to test for the next six months. It’s pretty sweet. 4G speeds , loaded with apps, cool sleek , but tough exterior. Verizon selected a tight group of bloggers from the Midwest and other parts of the country. They want to see how we use the tablet for the kitchen and blogs. I need all the help I can get in keeping my catering affairs and blog ideas together. I’m having a ball playing with it and even Certain Someone got a little jealous and petulant when he saw it.

On Friday as I paid the taxi cab driver to take me to the Hard Rock Hotel to meet the group. I did a double take as I noticed Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen fame on the corner. I looked at her and she looked at me and I said ” Jaden…?” She remembered me from earlier interactions on the blogosphere. It was the equivalent of meeting a rock star in the food blog world. I appreciated her openness and honesty as she talked from the heart in how to maximize your blog, and turn into a viable brand and business. She also stressed most importantly to “Measure success in units of happiness not revenue.”  I also got to meet the cool Jessi Olsen of Cakespy, another longtime fave, who is also participating in the program.

Speaking of Measuring success in units of happiness and not revenue… This is a perfect segue into my visit to Charlie Trotters. Late last year it was announced that the famed Charlie Trotter, who was and still is a ground breaker in American Cuisine was closing his doors to his famed Lincoln Park Restaurant. Many of today’s hottest chefs have paid their dues under Trotter. As with all things sometimes the pioneers get forgotten or taken for granted.I have heard the question many times is Charlie Trotter still relevant is the food scene?I think those  that think he’s not are  too jaded. Many of the hot new modern chefs can owe their success to him directly or indirectly. Charlie Trotter knows he has nothing to prove and is closing his famed door in August to pursue other things like studying Philosophy. That’s a well-rounded healthy man who knows when to move on and change it up. I’m lucky to have a generous Certain Someone in my life who knew the importance of visiting  this institution. We dined with another couple and had a grand time.While the final bill  with the bottles of wine ,could have easily flown us to Europe, it was worth it. I loved the formality of the restaurant with the suited servers who attended to your every need. I even glimpsed Chef in the kitchen getting ready to greet another lucky girl who was blindfolded and being lead to his chefs table for a birthday surprise.Its a nice change from the grungy hipster edgy vibes you find elsewhere. The food was beautifully presented and a work of art. Small in portions, yet carefully crafted. That style of cooking is very hard to replicate and takes years of dedication passion and a cultivated eye and palate.

I tried to recreate a recipe I have from one of his cookbooks Workin’ More Kitchen Sessions With Charlie Trotters. Soft Shelled Crab with Curried Tomato Sauce and Cumin Vinaigrette.  This is my second crab post I realize, but this is the last month of the soft shell crab season. They are now available year round in frozen form as well. My favorite aspect of the recipe was the pine nut flour coating. This will be my go to breading for frying. It’s amazing. So many aspects of this recipe can be adapted to others.

Many years ago I would have been a bit intimidated to cook out this book. A revisit, and I find it approachable and inspiring. Whether Charlie Trotters doors are closed or not, the  true Master Chef  and Artist will continue to inspire , teach and influence.

Soft Shell Crabs with Curried Tomato Sauce and Cumin Vinaigrette
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Adapted from Workin' More Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter
  • For the Sauce
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoon minced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • For the Soft Shelled Crabs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cups toasted pine nuts , grounded
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1½ grape seed oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 cleaned soft shelled crabs
  • For the Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds , toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
  • 4 leaves Belgian endive , julienned
  • ½ Granny Smith Apple
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  1. In a saucepan with the olive oil, saute the shallots , lemon grass, garlic and ginger on low medium heat until they become translucent. This will take 5 minutes approx.
  2. Add tomatoes, curry, cilantro , vinegar, and water. Simmer for 15 minutes until tomatoes break down and ingredients are combined.
  3. In a spice grinder ground the toasted pine nuts. Add flour, salt and peppers.
  4. Dredge the crabs in the pine nut flour mixture.
  5. Fry for three minutes on each side until golden.
  6. Carefully cut each fried crab in half with kitchen shears.
  7. Adjust seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Whisk the ground cumin and vinegar.
  9. Slowly add the olive oil to form an emulsion.
  10. Gently simmer the vinaigrette until hot in a sauce pan.
  11. Add the julienned apples, endive , pinenuts, and cilantro.
  12. Plate by adding tomato curry sauce and vinaigrette to plate.
  13. Place crabs atop the sauce.
  14. Add more vinaigrette on top of the crabs.

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.


Summer Time Is For Blue Crabs…You Can’t Take the Maryland Out of A Girl

As many of  you know I moved a few months ago. The moving process is hard and can take a while to clean up, and sort decades of personal mementos and possessions.  Going through many boxes  and files,  all indications were there I was a food  and fashion lover from an early age. Magazine clippings were various assorted recipes and fashion spreads. I recall reading Jeffrey Steingarten at a young age and trying to replicate his recipes for my father  on visitations.I always saved such things as I knew one day, they would be useful. While cleaning out some drawers I came across some wooden crab mallets   from my childhood in the Washington D.C area. While Chicago has been my home for over a decade, and my mothers hometown, essentially I’m a East Coast Girl . They say you can never go home again, and it’s true. But sometimes your taste buds yearn for long forgotten  tastes  of  your past that aren’t always available.

I loved crabs and lobster as a kid. I remember my Mommy and Daddy would take me down to the Wharf in D.C, before it became all gentrified and commercialized, and get bushels of live crabs to cook up for a party. I would ride in fear in the car on the way home to the suburbs  worried those blue crabs would climb out of the bushel and pinch me. I loved going to local crab houses around Maryland laid out with brown paper. With my bib and wooden mallet ready, we all dug into to crustaceans loaded down with salty, spicy Old Bay Seasoning. I was an expert and could easily  crack open and polish off a dozen. If there were leftovers, the one or two would be an after school treat cold from the fridge. The sweet meat more firmed up. Hot or cold they were delicious and my mother loved to indulge her budding epicurean . Time went on, my parents divorced, and we moved. My mother and I lived for a brief spell in Baltimore with my step father, which I hated, but I loved the crabs. Going down to Fells Point for crabs relieved my building tensions and resentment of being in a place I didn’t want to be. Living in Chicago its rare to find Blue Crabs. But it is possible. Here in the Midwest , Alaskan King Crab Legs rule as opposed to the smaller blue crabs. All have to be flown in. I have found  live crabs flown in various places on the South Side, and more specifically Asian Markets. H Mart carries them regularly and I picked up some tongs and grabbed some of the pinchy fighters to go into my brown paper bag. On the way home I remembered my fear as kid while driving, but knew I was in for a treat.  I indulge in crabs and such when Certain Someone is away. He feels such food is too much work. It is. But its a ritual I relish and enjoy, preferably in messy solitude, like when I was a kid. A treat to myself.

In Maryland the crab is always steamed. Elsewhere it boiled. I don’t have a steamer so I boil. My mother used to make me  a quick sauce to dip my meat in consisting  of Mayonnaise and Ketchup, kind of like a remouldae. I modernized her sauce with more modern and available ingredients of today. The Blue Crabs I purchased were on the smaller side, as there isn’t as much choice in size  and there was back home on the East Coast. I got a variety of male and female. The males  have a T shaped apron and blue tipped claws, while the females have a triangular or more mature bell shaped apron with red tipped claws. The females are sweeter and have roe inside, which you can discard or consider it a delicacy and make a sauce with .

I wont give a recipe , but explain my favorite way to cook and eat crabs

  •  1 part of water depending on quantity of crabs to 1 part beer or vinegar. Not to cover but between a steam and boil.
  • Liberal lashing of Old Bay Seasoning or a Crab Boil Mix
  • Boil live crabs for 10 minutes or until the blue shell turns red.
  • Drain and serve.
  • Mix a sauce with mayonnaise, a bit of ketchup for color , some Sriracha, a squeeze of lime juice, and dash of fish sauce.
  • Cover the table with newspaper
  • Get Ready to get messy
  • Be patient, it’s not a race
  • Enjoy and savor the delicacy of the sea