Learn How to Cook Perfect Fish with Karen on October 18

Sign up for my Saturday October 18th class and learn how to cook fish perfectly. If you overcook fish it is dry. If you undercook fish it is rubbery. You want it cooked through but not overcooked.

In this class you will learn not only all the tips about picking out fresh fish and all the right questions to ask but also how to judge when the fish is perfectly done. The Black Sea Bass with Sweet and Sour Onions is a delectable example of how to do it.

This Saturday class, starting at 10 a.m.and finishing at 2 p.m. we will also be making Sole Meunière… and achieving a crust that you thought could only be produced in a restaurant!

Sea Bass with Sweet and Sour Onions

Sea Bass with Sweet and Sour Onions


  • 1¼ pounds Sea Bass fillets, skin off (you will need one or two whole sea bass, head and tail intact, with a total weight of 2 1/2 pounds as you lose 50 or 60 percent when the fish is filleted)
  • 1 tablespoon flour, spread on a plate mixed with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, approximately
  • 3 cups onion sliced very thin
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Rinse and dry fillets.
  2. Combine on a plate the flour, salt and pepper
  3. Dredge the fish on presentation side in the flour mixture. Tap off excess flour.
  4. Choose a stainless steel sauté pan large enough to accommodate all the fish in a single layer. Heat the pan for one minute over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onions over medium low heat until the onions have wilted. Turn up the heat to medium. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue cooking. Stir from time to time. Sauté until the onions become a rich golden brown. Push all the onions to the edge of the pan.
  5. Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan then place the fish fillets in pan, presentation side down. Raise the heat to medium high. Sauté fillets for 3 minutes and then turn them over. Pour the wine, vinegar, and sugar into pan over the onions. Turn the heat down. Continue cooking for approximately 2 minutes. Check to see if fish is done. Transfer the fish to a heated serving platter. Reduce drippings in pan if necessary. Arrange onions in-between fish. Pour any pan juices over fish. Then sprinkle with parsley. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil (also known as finishing oil).
  6. © Karen Lee 2014


If you forgot to ask fishmonger to remove the skin, slit the bass in three places (crescent shape slits) on the skin side in order to prevent the fish from curling up too much when it is turned.

Menu For Cooking Class

Off to Whole Foods to buy chickens for a class on Tuesday night January 29th.

We will bone the breasts from 3 Eberly organic chickens, and then make Chicken Marsala.

The class will rub down the wings and legs with a dry rub of thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and roast them to perfection at 375 degrees in an uncovered iron skillet. The carcass will be turned into stock. I love making use of the whole bird.

We are also making Caponata goat cheese crostini with a baguette from Maison Kayser and. . .

Braised Broccoli Rape

Pasta with Arabiata Sauce (sautéed prosciutto on the sidefrom Salumeria Rose) and Setaro dried pasta (from Buon Italia in the Chelsea market)


Student Rave – Cooking with Karen Lee

Grilled Ginger Sesame Salmon

One of my students recently wrote about her experience cooking with me on her wonderful blog, Cooking with Candi. She writes:

Karen’s kitchen is “such a warm, ‘hamish’ atmosphere, yet totally professional. Karen is a real dynamo, and very talented; she knows a lot about cooking, products, and food in general. If the opportunity ever arises, I highly recommend her classes.

We cooked from 10 – 2:30 and ate our way through the morning into the afternoon. When I looked at the clock at 1:40, I didn’t know where the time went but it was well spent for sure. We made 3 kinds of salmon, 2 beautiful salads, and a poached pear dessert. I learned a few new techniques, a few new facts, and made a few new friends. What a great day!”

Read more and see all the photos on Cooking with Candi.

Thank you Candi for sharing your compliments and I look forward to cooking with you again soon!

Poached Pears and Cherries

Mystery Email Announcement

You may have received an email from Karen Lee Cooking with a class announcement dated January 12. I don’t know why the system generated that email, but I apologize for any inconvenience.

New Recipe Clipping Tool

You may have noticed that my online recipes now include a little blue button for “Save Recipe”.

new recipe clipping tool

Click this button at the top of any recipe, and with a free membership to, you can save favorites to an online recipe box. From there, you can add recipes to a shopping list – making it easier to get in and out of the store with ingredients for all my delicious recipes! I hope you enjoy this new online recipe clipping tool.

KL recipe in ZipList

Karen Lee’s Summertime Cooking Tips on Food Schmooze

I’m pleased to share with you my second interview on the Faith Middleton show on NPR. Karen Lee on the Food Schmooze aired on June 29th. The show’s recording is available here, which features some of my cooking tips for summer favorites.

  • What’s the best cut of meat for hamburgers?
  • Is it safe to keep butter out in the summer?
  • A delicious butter blend for corn on the cob
  • Plum tomatoes and chopped olives topping for grilled fish

To Listen:

  • Click the title below to start the audio.
  • To find Karen’s segment in the audio clip, start the audio and then click on the gray bar until you find the spot labeled 14:30 minutes.
Audio: Food Schmooze June 29th 2011


Garden fresh plum tomatoes

Photo credit: Letouj / Creative Commons 2.0

Karen Lee’s Marinade for Fish on Faith Middleton’s Food Schmooze

I recently enjoyed two interviews on the Faith Middleton show on NPR. “Karen Lee’s Marinade for Fish” first aired on June 15. The show’s recording is available here, as well as the recipe – wonderful on any kind of fish you like.

To Listen:

  • Click the title below to start the audio.
  • To find Karen’s segment in the audio clip, start the audio and then click on the gray bar until you find the spot labeled 13:00 minutes.
Audio: Food Schmooze June 15th 2011


Karen Lee’s Marinade for Fish on Faith Middleton’s Food Schmooze

Karen Lee’s Marinade for Fish on Faith Middleton’s Food Schmooze


  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, tarragon or thyme


  1. Marinate no more than 2 hours.
  2. Baste the fish in the marinade a few times during those 2 hours.
  3. Heat a grill for 10 minutes if it is a gas grill. If it is a charcoal grill, then just let the fire burn down for 20 or so minutes.
  4. Crunch up a piece of paper towel and dip it in pure olive oil or peanut oil.
  5. Take a pair of tongs and go over the grill with the oil soaked paper towel.
  6. Put the fish on the grill immediately after and don’t move it for 3 – 5 minutes.
  7. Whatever it takes to establish a crust then flip it. Grill for another 30 seconds.
  8. Remove from grill with a wide spatula using a jiggling motion (so as not to leave any of the crust on the grill).
  9. Put on a plate and drizzle with olive oil, a little lemon juice and sprinkling of salt.

Karen Lee Interviewed on NPR

Dear Students,

I recently enjoyed three interviews with Faith Middleton on her show Food Schmooze on NPR. The first interview will air on Wednesday, June 15th at 3 p.m. and will be repeated Wednesday, June 15th at 9 p.m. and then again on Saturday June 18th at 12 noon. I will announce air times for the following two interviews when I have the dates.

You can listen to it on the radio on the NPR station in Long Island or CT, or if you live elsewhere you can hear it on on your computer.

I welcome your comments.