Sea Bass Grilled in Banana Leaf with Yucatan-Style Recado

DeviceCMYK 8 bitsFrom: Chef Aaron Sanchez, Centrico, New York City. Yield: 1 6-8 oz. serving.

4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. dried Mexican oregano 1 tsp. achiote paste
1/2 cup Seville Orange Juice (or 1/4 cup orange juice mixed with 1/4 cup lime juice)
1 6-8 oz. filet wild striped bass, skin removed (or other firm-fleshed fish)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 3 spears asparagus, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced 1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 12” x 18” banana leaf (available in Latin or Asian grocery stores)

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, oregano, achiote and orange juice, whisking well to form a paste. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and rub the paste on both sides. Set aside for 15 minutes, allowing the fish to marinate at room temperature.

In a bowl, combine red pepper, asparagus, red onion, serrano, tomato and olive oil. Mix well until well-coated, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Lay the banana leaf on a flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles. Place the fish filet in center of leaf and top with vegetable mixture. Wrap the ends of the leaf around the fish and vegetables to form a taut bundle. place fish on grill and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Do not turn over. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.