Roasted Sea Bass with Chive Creme Fraiche,
Baby Potatoes, and Artichokes

2 large Artichokes (globe)
1 tbls. Lemon Juice
1 lb. New Potatoes
2 tbls. Fresh Chives (chopped)
1/2 cup Thick Creme Fraiche
6 tbls. Olive Oil
1 tbls. Fresh Basil (shredded)
1/2 cup Classic Vinaigrette
2 Shallots (minced)
1 tbls. Sherry Vinegar
2 tbls. Heavy Cream
1 3/4 lb. Sea Bass Fillet (trimmed and cut into 4 neat portions, skin on)
Fresh Thyme Sprigs (for garnish)
Sea salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. Cut off the artichoke stalks, pull off the leaves, and cut out the hairy chokes, leaving you with just the cup-shaped meaty bottoms. Cut the bottoms into lengths and then into diamond shapes.

2. Cook the pieces of artichoke in boiling water with the lemon juice for 10 minutes until barely tender; drain. At the same time, boil the new potatoes in another pan until only just tender; drain when they are ready, then cut them in half.

3. Meanwhile, mix the chives into the creme fraiche and season nicely. Set aside. Heat 2 tbls. of the oil in a frying pan and saute the potatoes for about 5 minutes until nicely colored. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Beat the basil into the vinaigrette, then mix with the warm potatoes and leave to cool.

4. Add the artichokes to the frying pan, with another tablespoon of oil if necessary, and saute for 3 - 5 minutes until nicely colored. Remove with a draining spoon, drain, and keep warm.

5. Add the shallots to the pan and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Deglaze with the vinegar and cook until the liquid has reduced away. Stir in the cream, season, and set aside to keep warm.

6. Score the skin of the bass several times with the tip of a very sharp knife. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Season the bass and cook, skin-side down, for 3 - 4 minutes until the silver skin is crisp. Turn carefully and cook the other side for 1 - 2 minutes until lightly springy when pressed. Season again.

To Serve:
Spoon the artichokes in the center of four warmed plates. Spoon the shallot cream on top. Sit the sea bass on this, arrange the basil potatoes around the fish, and garnish with thyme. Finally, spoon the chive creme fraiche on top so it melts invitingly over the fish as you serve.

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