Roasted Chilean Sea Bass with a Simmered Tomato-Habanero Sauce and Garlicky Mojo Side Salad

Habanero adds real complexity to a basic yet versatile roasted tomato sauce. It keeps for a few days in the fridge, but also freezes well, and as such is great to make over the weekend for weekday dishes such as this. Roasted the fish, spooned a healthy amount of sauce over (left somewhat chunky) and served with greens tossed in some Mojo de Ajo with lemon juice and zest.

Ingredients, Sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 medium-large or 9 to 12 plum) ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rich-tasting lard or olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 small (4-ounce) white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh habanero chile, halved
  • Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon


  • Stovetop and Cast Iron Pan (or oven and cookie sheet for broiler method)
  • 2 to 3-quart saucepan
  • knife, cutting board
  • Food processor or blender


  1. Roast the tomatoes. The griddle method: Line a griddle or heavy skillet with aluminum foil and heat over medium. Lay the tomatoes on the foil and roast, turning several times, until blistered, blackened and softened, about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if some of the skin sticks to the foil.
  2. The broiler method: Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet and place about 4 inches below a very hot broiler. Roast until blistered and blackened on one side, about 6 minutes; flip the tomatoes and roast the other side.
  3. Cool, then peel, collecting any juices with the tomatoes. Coarsely puree tomatoes and juices in a food processor or blender.
  4. Make the sauce. In a medium-size (2 to 3-quart) saucepan, heat the lard or oil over medium. Add the onion and fry until deep golden, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chile halves and simmer 15 minutes or so, stirring often, until nicely reduced but not dry (it should be an easily spoonable consistency). Taste (it will be wonderfully picante and nicely perfumed), season with salt, remove the chile if you want, and it’s ready to use.

*Courtesy Rick Bayless. Makes about 2 cups.

All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.