GRILLED SEABASS TAIL WITH PIL PIL (Alejandro Villa Pérez)

El Café de Pandora, Avilés (Asturias)
Cola de lubina Aquanaria al pil pil

Ingredients

For the Pil Pil

  • 500 ml Olive Oil 0.4 (concentration)
  • 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Aubocassa, Chef’s choice)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 100 ml Albariño Wine
  • 1 Spring Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • Pink Pepper
  • 1 Chilli
  • Salt
  • 200 ml of Fish Fumet (Broth)
  • Seabass’ Head & Fins

For the tail

  • 300 gr Scaled Seabass Tail
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Grape & Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Garlic Clove

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Alejandro Villa Pérez is the head behind this Pil pil Seabass. As a young Chef from Spanish northern region, Asturias, he has been dedicated to the gastronomy world since his teen years. For many years, we put into practice his culinary education along the Loya family in the Real Balneario de Salinas restaurant. Today he is the head Chef of El café del Pandora, a family business rebranded as a restaurant a few years ago. He is an extremely innovative and creative Chef, in constant development. Despite being as young as he is, has already been awarded with a few gastronomic awards.

In order to elaborate this recipe, it is key to use Seabass of a bigger size, so that it turns out the best! Aquanaria Seabass are of greater size, bred in the Atlantic Ocean, available for Chefs all-year round.

PIL PIL SEABASS

Pil pil is an oil-based emulsion with fish yelly, typical from Basque cuisine. The most popular recipe is pil pil Cod. Nonetheless, any fish can be cooked this way – the more gelatinous it is, the better. When cooking, it is important to use garlic as it helps in the emulsion making.

In this case, the pil pil comes from Seabass head and fins, since it’s the part with more gelatin – keep in mind it is a protein! Since Aquanaria Seabass are bigger in size, their heads become key for this recipe and other full-use recipes.

INSTRUCTIONS

How to cook pil pil:

  • Place head in casserole with the extra virgin olive oil (Chef’s choice is Aubocassa).
  • Fry for 15 minutes the garlic, leek, spring onion and chilli previously cut in Julienning.
  • Add the remaining olive oil together with fins, head, Alabariño wine and pink pepper.
  • Stew for about 1 hour so that the olive oil infuses slowly.
  • Strain and let it sit in a jar for about 3 more hours so that the jelly and Seabass juices separate themselves from the olive oil and end up in the lowest part of the jar.
  • Separate jelly from oil.
  • Place the cold jelly in saucepan and slowly set the olive oil on top in thread-way with the help of a wood stick.
  • It’ll begin to thicken and will seem to separate itself; now it’s time to add the fumet to merge both fats.

How to cook the Seabass Tail:

  • Make a mixture with the olive oil, garlic and vinegar.
  • With a drying paper, wipe up the skin so it doesn’t stick to the grill when placed on it. Also taking the dampness away makes it crunchier.
  • Season the Seabass and place on grill skin-down at 250ºC for about 4 minutes. Key: do not flip it over, only cook it on skin side.

PRESENTATION

Place Seabass skin-up and pour pil pil on top.