Bass with a Tomato Bacon Sauce

This is a perfect summer recipe for when the bass are biting and the local tomatoes are bursting with flavor.  Largemouth bass has a mild, almost sweet, flavor and is a delicious white fish.  Largemouth are relatively easy to fillet and the head and remaining bones can be made into a delicate fish stock for use in this recipe or for making fish chowder.

Bass with Tomato Bacon Sauce

4 boneless, skinless bass fillets
3 strips of meaty bacon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot or 2 Tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
3 large vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
2 oz. white wine or vermouth
2 oz. fish stock or vegetable stock (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  To make the sauce, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until crisp.  Remove and place on a paper towel.  Drain some of the bacon fat from pan and add olive oil to the pan.  Sauté the shallot or onion for a few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, wine, and stock.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Crumble the bacon and add it back to the tomato mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Turn down burner to keep warm, while the fish cooks.  To cook the fish, place the bass fillets in single layer on a baking pan, season with salt and pepper (maybe a sprinkle of Cajun or Old Bay seasoning), and a light coating of olive oil on each side.  Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Spoon the tomato bacon sauce over the fish and cook a few minutes more until the fish is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.  Serves 4.

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