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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

New York state of mind - Chilean Sea Bass with Romesco sauce & Parsnip-Leek-Potato mash

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

“Some folks like to get away Take a holiday from the neighborhood Hop a flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood But I'm takin' a Greyhound on the Hudson River line... I'm in a New York state of mind” - Billy Joel

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

You are probably asking yourself what does New York have to do with Chilean Sea Bass?

I will tell you in this edition of Carlos’ Food & Wine, specially dedicated to a city that never sleeps...New York City.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

New York City is to me, one of the most fascinating metropolises in the world. It is famously vibrant, classic yet with a modern feel, eclectic and diverse...a true melting pot.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

I have lost count the number of times I have visited NYC but I would love to share two distinctive visits that unbeknownst to me, would change my life.

Late spring of 2000, I had just graduated from film school at the University of North Carolina School of Arts. My graduating class and I went on a promotional tour to NYC and Los Angeles to showcase our films and hopefully land industry gigs. NY was our first stop.

That trip will forever be engraved as quite the memorable one. We were able to go to the World Trade Center and capture the most majestic view of NYC and even New Jersey. Soon after, 9-11 reminded me how fortunate I was and still am.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

Our tour ended on an exciting high note with our thesis films being screened at the renowned Tribeca Film Center. At the end of the screening, there was a special reception held for us on the private room on top of Tribeca Grill (Co-owned by the legendary Robert De Niro). There, we met industry artists and players that will eventually contribute to my film/TV career.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

Two things that stood out: my wanting to have dinner downstairs at Tribeca Grill, but it required major advanced reservations (which eventually I will do for the following year, that story is coming up) and my meeting with the distinguished and enigmatic actor/playwright/restaurateur Chazz Palminteri, whose simple yet searing advice to me was “just write.”

I have been writing ever since.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

The following year, during the rainy summer season I returned to NYC to accompany my kid sister, who was with her dance company, to a well-known national competition, held at the iconic Waldor-Astoria Hotel. My mother also joined the fun.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

It was great to be back and spend time with family but also wonderful to regroup with fellow film school classmates who ended up relocating to NYC.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

Still, I was determined to have dinner at Tribeca Grill (good thing I made reservations months in advance). My mom was my special guest. Here is where the Sea Bass comes into the picture.

Tribecca Grill is the type of restaurant that is simplistically elegant, cozy yet private, and its menu is tantalizingly-well crafted and varied enough for those with discerning tastes.

And yes...that Chilean Sea Bass. That dish called out to me from the menu almost immediately (mind you, I had never had Chilean Sea Bass before). Truth be told, I don’t remember fully what the dish came with but I vividly remember that it was perfectly seared and paired with a fantastic and crisp white wine that made the meal complete.

Though this delightfully exclusive fish is from the Pacific waters of South America, I decided to prepare it Spanish-style, with delicate and savory sides and of course, paired with a wine that will enhance and bolster the flavors of all the ingredients.

Let‘s get cooking!


Pan-seared Chilean Sea Bass with Romesco Sauce and Parsnip-Leeks Potato Mash

Wine pairing:

2018 Senda Verde Albarino - Rias Baixas (Galicia, Spain)

Serves 2-3

*Bonus Menu: (there will be leftover Romesco Sauce and Potato Mash that will go beautifully with skirt steak).

Grilled skirt steak with mushroom steak sauce with parsnip-leeks potato mash pancakes with romesco sauce

Wine pairing:

2017 Kin and Cascadia Cabernet Sauvignon - Columbia Valley (Washington, USA)

Serves 2-3



Romesco sauce:

  • 2 red bell peppers

  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 cup tomato puree

  • 2 tbsp parsley

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp smoke paprika

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/2-3/4 cups of extra-virgin olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

Potato Mash:

  • one small bag of small gold to yellow potatoes (about 2 cups worth, uncooked)

  • 1 pound of parsnips, peeled and cut in 1 inch rounds 

  • one garlic cloven, finely minced 

  • one large leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped (approx 1/3 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons Salt

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley

  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Note: The romesco sauce should be made ahead of time and potato mash should be made before the fish since the fish is cooked very quickly.

Romesco sauce:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash red bell peppers. Remove the stem, seeds, and veins. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the skins start to blacken. You could also broil or grill the peppers instead. 

  • While the bell peppers are roasting, mince the parsley and garlic clove. Toast the almond slivers in a pan over low heat or in a toaster oven.

  • Place the roasted peppers in a brown paper bag once removed from the oven for 5 minutes. Then peel off the skins of the peppers.

  • Rough chop the peppers, then place all of the ingredients except for the extra-virgin olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until all of the ingredients are finely chopped. 

  • With the food processor still running, slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth. 

Potato mash:

  • Peel the parsnips. Cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch thick medallions. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks.

  • Place into a medium saucepan, cover with water, add two teaspoons of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes, until a fork can pierce easily.

  • Drain and return the parsnips and potatoes to the warm pan. Cover and let steam in the heat of the pan for 10 minutes.

  • In a small frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of extra Virgin oil. Heat pan on medium heat. Quickly fry leeks for about 2 minutes, careful not to overcook or burn. Transfer from cooked leeks from pan to large mixing bowl. Add potatoes and parsnips to bowl. 

  •  Using a potato masher, mash the parsnips and potatoes until nicely mashed. Don't over mash or they will be gluey.

  • Add butter and salt (omit salt if using salted butter), and mash some more. Stir in the chopped parsley and chives. Add black pepper and more salt to taste.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Season both sides of fish with sea salt and cracked pepper.

  • Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to cast iron and heat to medium/medium high heat. As soon as oil is heated, carefully place fish fillets on pan and sear one side for about 4 minutes. Add butter and garlic. Gently turn over fillet and sear other side for about 2 minutes. Carefully spoon melted butter and oil mixture on top of fish.

  • Transfer pan to oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes or until done. Serve immediately.

Serve it up: On each individual plate, spoon a generous amount of the mash and indent a little so the fish can comfortably rest on top. Place the fillet on top of the mash. Drizzle or spoon romesco sauce on top of fish. Serve. Optional Garnishes: Add additional roasted slivered almonds on top of romesco sauce (on top of the fish). Blisters baby tomatoes: Blistered color assorted baby tomatoes elevate the dish presentation and taste delicious. On a dry pan, heat pan until a drop of water sizzles. Add baby tomatoes and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes each side or until you see small blistered black burned spots. Remove from pan immediately.  Carefully arrange a small portion next to the fix.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Bonus Recipe Ingredients:


Potato Pancakes:

  • Room temperature leftover potato-parsnip mash  (hand molded in two small pancake-like shapes)

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil 

Mushroom steak sauce:

  • 1 cup of sliced baby portobello mushrooms 

  • 1/3 cup of white wine

  • 1 shallot finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper 

Romesco sauce:

Leave leftover Romesco sauce at room temperature while preparing the other dishes.



Cut steak into several long pieces. Season on both sides with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on shallow pan and drizzle with extra Virgin olive oil. Grill to desired doneness. 

Potato pancakes:

Heat oils in a frying pan. Gently costs potato pancakes on both sides with flour and place in pan, frying for about 2 minutes on ea h side. Transfer to paper-towel lines plate to soak up excess oils. Repeat as necessary to make 2-3 pancakes per serving.

Mushroom sauce:

In a medium size pot, heat olive oil on medium. Once oil sizzles, add garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, constantly stirring. 

Reduce heat to low. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.  Add wine and stir, cooking for another 2 minutes. Add creme fraiche and gently stir, ensuring all the mushrooms are coated with the cream.

Serve it up:

On each individual plate, place two small pieces of steak on one side and spoon a few tablespoons of the mushroom sauce on top of the steak. 

On the other side of the plate, apply a generous amount of romesco sauce, spreading it smoothly. Place two or three potato pancakes on top of the romesco sauce, leaving a little of the romesco sauce exposed on either end. Serve immediately.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Wine pairing (for fish)

2018 Senda Verde Albarino - Rias Baixas (Galicia, Spain)

*Special thanks to Winesellers Limited for this wonderfully crisp and fruity wine.

About this wine...

This juicy Albariño opens like a bowl of fresh fruit, with aromas of apple, pear, peach and melon. Stone-fruit and citrus flavors are slightly pithy and oily in character, while tangy orange and pineapple echo on a brief but clean finish.

Grapes: 100% Albarino

Taste: Light and dry, with some minerality with ample citrus and flora flavor with every sip.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Bonus wine pairing (for steak)

2018 Kin and Cascadia Cabernet Sauvignon - Columbia Valley (Washington, USA)

*Special thanks again to Winesellers Limited for this unique Cabernet Sauvignon wine.

About this wine...

Dark red in color, the bouquet of this beautiful wine has aromas of dark red fruits and even hints of chocolate. On the palate, it is elegant and balanced with lingering flavors of mocha and black cherry.

Grapes: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Syrah

Taste: Interesting and pleasant mix of mocha and black cherry flavors with perhaps some slight smoky accents.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Bon appetit! Cheers!


Special thanks to my sponsors and contributors!

(Video: Avery Yuhr)

All New York City photos by Daniel Cape. Follow Daniel on Instagram at:

Gracias Daniel!

If you can make it there, you can make it, anywhere.

(Photo: Daniel Cape)

249 views1 comment

תגובה אחת

Flor Gomez
Flor Gomez
19 בנוב׳ 2020

Wow 🤩 Sounds delicious!

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