Herbed Striped Bass and Carolina Gold Dirty Rice

served with, Creole Sauce, Praline Glazed Sweet Potato, Rapini with Garlic Chips, Smoked Bass Hush Puppy and Fried Oyster

Recipe submitted by: Wayne Smith

Makes four servings.

For the Bass:

  • 2 whole striped bass, about 1 lb each
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. each chopped chives, chervil, basil, tarragon
  • 4 tbsp. butter

Fillet the bass and trim. Reserve trimmings for hush puppies. Season the bass and sprinkle with herbs. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet. Lightly sauté the bass, cover, and finish in a moderate oven.

For the Dirty Rice:

Seasoning mix:

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 4 oz bacon, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 oz each finely chopped onions, celery, green bell pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oysters, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Carolina Gold rice

Combine the seasoning mix. Fry the bacon in a skillet until fat begins to render. Add the seasoning mix, bay leaf, onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Add the butter and cook until vegetables are soft. Add the stock and deglaze pan. Bring to a boil, add rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in oysters, remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes to finish cooking rice. Remove bay leaf.

For the Creole Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped shallots
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small sprig thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 oz each small dice onion, celery, bell pepper
  • salt and pepper, as needed
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • pinch cayenne

Sweat shallots in 1 tbsp oil. Add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Cover and simmer until tomatoes are soft. Pass tomatoes through sieve and hold warm. Sauté onion, celery, and bell pepper in remaining oil. Stir vegetables into tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.

For the Praline Glazed Sweet Potatoes:

  • 4 pieces sweet potato tourne
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped pecans
  • pinch black pepper

Parboil the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain and refresh. Melt butter with brown sugar, pecans, and pepper. Toss sweet potatoes in mixture and roast in moderate oven until glazed

For the Rapini:

  • 2 fl oz olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz rapini, trimmed
  • salt and pepper

Combine the garlic and oil in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until the garlic is golden and crisp. Remove from heat and set aside. Steam the rapini until tender. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and garnish with garlic chips.

For the Hush Puppies:

Smoked Bass:

  • 4 oz bass trimmings
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika


  • 1/2 cup Carolina cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Carolina rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 oz beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • oil for deep frying

Dissolve the salt, sugar, and paprika in water. Add the bass trimmings and brine for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Pan-smoke the bass for 5 minutes. Combine dry ingredients, except baking powder. Reserve 1/2 cup dry ingredients for oysters. Stir baking powder into remaining mixture. Stir in green onions and garlic. Chop smoked bass and stir in. Combine egg, milk, and butter. Stir into dry ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heat deep frying oil to 350 degrees. Fry hush puppies until golden, turning as needed.

For the Fried Oysters:

  • 4 oysters
  • 1 oz beaten egg
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • dash hot pepper sauce
  • reserved dry hush puppy ingredients

Shuck the oysters. Combine egg, mustard, and hot pepper sauce. Toss the oysters in the egg mixture then the dry mixture. Shake off excess and deep fry until golden.

Plating directions: Place a timbale of rice at the top center of plate. Arrange sweet potato and rapini adjacent to rice on left side. Sauce plate in front of rice. Place bass on sauce. Garnish rice with hush puppy and oyster.