On to our Roundup..
The fish: Barramundi
Contributed by: Chef Jeffrey Mahony, McCormick & Schmick, Colorado
The Recipe: Barramundi with Shitake & Lemongrass
For more info: The Better Fish; The Super Green List
Barramundi is a fish that still needs its breakout role. This fish could be the "it" girl if we could find that vehicle. A few chefs have discovered it and wider distribution is on the horizon. Allow me to introduce you.
Barramundi has much to recommend it: sustainably farmed in above-ground, closed-container tanks, it eats a largely vegetarian diet (meaning it doesn't put pressure on natural fish populations for feed). It has the remarkable ability to turn its feed into omega-fatty acid-rich delicate, flaky white fillets that have enough healthy fat to make it easy to cook, even for beginners.
Chef Jeffrey Mahony has more than 18 years experience in the restaurant industry. Most of these were spent working with fresh seafood. He began his career at the Pelican Fish restaurant in Fort Collins, CO. During his tenure, Mahony worked his way up from host to chef and eventually, general manager. The restaurant was named “Best Seafood Place” and the “People’s Choice Restaurant” for eight years by the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn starch slurry (corn starch and cold water 1:2 ratio)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbs chili flakes
3 tbs minced garlic
3 tbs minced ginger
In large sauté pan or sauce pan heat vegetable oil to a smoke. Add mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Add chili flakes and brown, add garlic and ginger sauté until brown (do not burn) add all ingredients except for slurry and return to a boil add slurry and return to a boil. Thickness of sauce may need to be adjusted, add more slurry to make thicker or chicken stock to make sauce looser.
Lemongrass Shitake Barramundi
4 each 7oz Barramundi skin-on filet
4 half pieces lemongrass
3 cup white wine or chicken stock
Sharpen lemongrass into spear. Skewer Barramundi filet length wise and place in a shallow baking pan. Add stock or wine and roast in a 400 oven until done about 7-10 minutes.
Serve over Jasmine or Sticky rice, sides might include baby bok choy or asparagus lightly sauced with sesame oil and soy sauce.
The fish: Mussels, Clams, Squid
Contributed by: Vanessa Barrington, Author of DIY Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch (Chronicle Books 2010)
The Recipe: Seafood Stew
For more info:
Sustainable Seafood Stew with Meyer Lemon and Parsley Aioli Croutons
Seafood that’s low on the food chain is both healthier for both you and the oceans. Plus, it’s tasty and economical. This recipe combines clams, mussels, and squid, but you could replace all or some of these with crab, lobster, or even sustainably caught or farmed fish, local to your area. You can gussy this dish up with chopped fresh tomatoes, citrus zest, or saffron, but it’s quite good as-is. A good trick for making a flavorful, quick stock is to ask the fishmonger for some heads or bones of fish trimmed that day. It’s cheap, fresh, and flavorful. To shop for sustainable seafood, get a Seafood Watch card for your local area and take it to the store with you.
Time Required: about 1 hour active; 20 minutes passive (excluding aioli preparation)
Yield: 4 as a first-course or light-supper servings
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for croutons
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 celery rib, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 small fennel bulb, chopped
2 garlic cloves, left unpeeled and smashed with the side of a knife blade
1 pound fish heads and bones
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 or 4 sprigs fresh parsley
6 black peppercorns
Pinch of fennel seeds
1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch slices on the diagonal
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mussels, washed and debearded
1 pound clams, washed
1/2 pound squid, cleaned (see Note)
Meyer Lemon and Parsley Aioli (recipe follows)
In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm the ¼ cup oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, fennel, garlic, and a few pinches of salt. Let the vegetables cook gently until soft and aromatic, about 10 minutes.
Add the fish heads and bones, 3 1/2 cups water, the wine, parsley, peppercorns, and fennel seeds to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Skim any scum from the top and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until fragrant and the stock begins to color, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the baguette slices out on a baking sheet in a single layer, brush with olive oil, and bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes.
Remove the broth from the heat and strain it, reserving the fish for other uses (see No-W aste Tip). Return the broth to the pot, taste, and adjust the salt, pepper, and acid by adding a little more white wine if desired.
Add the mussels and clams, cover, and simmer until they just open, 3 minutes or so . Add the squid and turn off the heat. Let sit, covered, for 30 seconds. Discard any unopened clams or mussels and ladle the stew into 4 warmed, shallow bowls. Spread the croutons with aioli and float 2 in each bowl of soup.
Note: To clean fresh squid, lay them all out on a cutting board near the sink. Position a bowl in the sink bel ow the cutting board and also have a colander ready in the sink. For each squid, pull the head free of the body and cut the tentacles off just above the eyes. Put the tentacles in the colander and pull out the remaining portion of the head with the eyes and guts that come with it. Discard them into the bowl with the ink sac. Using the dull edge of a knife, scrape the squid body so that the opaque, white viscera inside falls into the bowl. Do this several times to get as much out as possible. At the same time, scrape off the mottled skin so the squid is clean white. Turn the squid over and do both sides. Reach inside the body and pull the bony quill out, making sure to get it all.
Place all the cleaned squid in the colander with the tentacles, and rinse thoroughly, letting the water run through the bodies to remove any remaining sliminess. Drain and cut the squid bodies into rings about 1/2 inch thick.
No-Waste Tip: If you have a dog or cat, reserve the fish heads and trimmings after you strain your broth. Boil in fresh water until the bones are completely soft. Puree and add to your pet’s food for a special, healthy treat.
Meyer Lemon and Parsley Aioli
The word aioli is often misused to describe and flavored mayonnaise. But it seems fitting to use the term aioli to indicate that this is special mayonnaise. Follow this basic recipe to make any variety of mayonnaise you like. Depending on how you are serving it, or your inclination, you might want to add cayenne, capers, anchovies, different types of herbs, or chopped, canned chipotle chiles. This is lovely in vegetable sandwiches, in BLTs, as a dip for roasted asparagus, or as a dressing base for potato salad. My very favorite use for Meyer Lemon and Parsley Aioli is to spread it on croutons and float them like buoys in Sustainable Seafood Stew. Of course you may make this in a food processor, but washing slippery mayonnaise out of a food processor always makes me cranky, while whisking it by hand is quick and soothing.
Time Required: 10 to 15 minutes active
Yield: about 2/3 cup
1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup good, but not too pungent, olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Pound the garlic to a paste in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk until smooth. Add the oil a few drops at a time, whisking continuously, and making sure that each addition of oil is incorporated fully before adding more. You can begin adding the oil more quickly about halfway through the process because the more oil the egg has incorporated, the less likely the aioli is to separate.
When all the oil is incorporated, and the aioli becomes very thick and yellow, like lemon pudding, add the lemon juice a little at a time, whisking continuously. If you want your aioli to have a thinner consistency, add warm water a few drops at a time. Stir in the parsley and the garlic paste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a jar and seal. The aioli will keep, refrigerated, for 3 or 4 days.
To make in a food processor, follow the same procedure, adding the oil a little at a time through the feed tube while processing continuously.
The fish: Squid
Contributed by: Braddock Spear, The Sustainable Ocean Project
The Recipe: Squid "Noodles" with Kalamata Olives and Arugula
For more info: See the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch Squid profile and choose longfin
Squid ‘Noodles’ with Kalamata Olives and Arugula
Squid are a great candidate for sustainable seafood. They mature quickly and are prolific reproducers. This recipe is a slightly modified version of a recipe by Chef Anne Burrell from her TV show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Squid are one of the few seafood products that hold up well to freezing. If your local fishmonger does not have fresh product, thawed frozen squid also works well for this recipe.
¾ - 1 pound cleaned squid, tubes and tentacles
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed, plus 1 whole for rubbing bread
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup kalamata or other black olives, slivered
4 large slices rustic Italian bread
2 cups arugula
2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
Insert a chefs knife into squid tube and cut through one side to create one open sheet. Cut into ¼-
inch wide strips, or ‘noodles’. Cut tentacles into segments.
Before cooking the squid, grill the bread on both sides (on a grill pan or gas grill). Lightly rub
warm bread with the garlic clove. Drizzle bread with the highest quality olive oil you have.
Coat a large sauté pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the smashed garlic cloves and
crushed red pepper and bring to high heat. Once the garlic is golden brown on both sides, remove
and discard. Add the squid and quickly stir in hot oil. Season with salt and sauté for 1 minute.
Add wine and olives and cook on high heat until wine has reduced by half. Taste to make sure
there is enough salt.
Divide the arugula between 4 shallow bowls or plates. Spoon squid and sauce over the greens.
Cut each piece of bread on the diagonal and arrange around the bowl. Garnish with chives and serve
The fish: Little Fishies - Sardines
Contributed by: Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie
The Recipe: Serving Suggestion: bruschetta
For more info: Seafood Watch Sardines Report
Let’s face it: bluefin tuna has an exceptional taste, which makes it very easy to realize why it is so popular. But we also cannot deny that it is seriously endangered and we need to take action to prevent them from extinction. Rather than dining upon tuna, which is near the top of the oceanic food chain, let us seek the opposite, little fishies much further down on the food chain.
On my recent trek to Spain, I dined at El Faro, an excellent seafood restaurant in Cadiz. My meal started with a simple but exceptional dish, fresh sardines atop toasted bread with crushed tomatoes and a bit of olive oil. Each element of the dish stood out on its own, yet also blended harmoniously together. It was crispy, briny, sweet and absolutely delicious. Who would have thought that simple sardines could be so compelling?
Unfortunately, you don’t find enough sardines at local restaurants. And not enough people order them even when they are available. I think that is partially a misconception, diners not realizing how good this fish can taste. Plus, restaurants don’t do enough to promote sardines, often making them appetizers rather than an entrée on a menu.
Besides being tasty, sardines are also a perfect sustainable choice. Organizations such as The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch consider sardines to be a “best choice.” Sardines breed in large numbers, develop quickly and oceanic stocks are in excellent shape. That is the same for similar small fish, like herring and anchovies. Being low on the good chain has its advantages.
Besides their sustainability, sardines are also a very healthy option. Three ounces of sardines contain more calcium than milk. They are also loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, far more than many other types of fish. Both herring and anchovies also possess lots of omega-3 fatty acids, even more than sardines. In addition, as all of these fish are small, they contain much less negative chemicals such as mercury and PCBs.
As the flesh of these small fish tends to be oily, the usual wines you might have with seafood might not always be the best. Instead, why not try some sherry, a dry Fino or Manzanilla, which pair very well with sardines. I had some Tio Pepe Fino with the sardine dish at El Faro and it was a very satisfying match. I would also recommend a Basque Txacoli, a lightly effervescent wine, usually white, which is also a very good match for oily foods. Even a dry Sake would be a good choice.
Savor sardines, embracing the lower and sustainable members of the oceanic food chain.
The fish: Clams
Contributed by: Carolyn Jung/FoodGal.com
The Recipe: Steamed Manila Clams with Udon
For more info: “best choice’’ on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide Seafood Watch Fact Sheet
What’s not to love about clams?
After all, they’re easily available year-round, come from well-managed aqua farms that have low impact on the environment, help filter debris in surrounding waters.
Moreover, they cook in no time and are practically fool-proof. When the shells open, you know the clams are done. Any that don’t open should be discarded as that’s an indicator that the clams may have expired before cooking.
A great way to enjoy clams is in this classic dish of “Steamed Manila Clams with Udon’’ by Chef Larry Tse of the House restaurant in San Francisco. The recipe is from the new book, “Daring Pairings’’ (University of California Press) by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein who recommends a Spanish Albariño with this satisfying dish. To learn more about why he favors this particular varietal, go to FoodGal.com.
The only change I’d make when making this dish again would be to cook the clams in a little less water, then add the clams and their cooking liquid to the final broth to amp up the clam flavor even more. Tse also says to remove the clams from their shells before adding to the broth. But I like the look of the whole clams, so I left them in their shells when serving.
Steamed Manila Clams with Udon
(makes 4 to 6 main-course servings)
2 ½ quarts water
1 (4- to 6-inch) square kombu (dried kelp)
1 tablespoon instant hon dashi (soup stock) granules
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 leek, white part only, coarsely chopped
2 cups firmly packed katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
For rest of dish:
4 cups water
3 pounds Manila clams, scrubbed
¾ pound dried udon noodles
2 (3 ½-ounce) packages enoki mushrooms, roots trimmed and separated into small bunches
1 bunch fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 sheets toasted nori, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips
To make the broth, in a saucepan, bring water to just below a boil. Remove from heat. Lightly wipe the kombu with a clean cloth (you don’t need to wipe away the white film), and add to the hot water along with the hon dashi granules and soy sauce. Let stand 30 minutes to rehydrate kombu. Return pan to medium-high heat, add leek, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add katsuobushi, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan. Taste and adjust with salt (it may not need any).
To cook clams, pour water into a large, wide pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add clams, cover, and steam, shaking pan occasionally, just until clams open, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a wire skimmer, transfer clams to a bowl, discarding any that failed to open. Discard cooking water. Remove clam meats from their shells. Set meats aside.
Cook udon noodles according to package directions, drain, and reserve.
To serve, bring broth to a boil , remove from heat, and add clams and mushrooms. Divide noodles evenly a mong individual serving bowls. Ladle broth, clams and mushrooms over the noodles. Garnish with chives and nori, and serve at once.
Note: Look for kombu, instant hon dashi, katsuobushi, dried udon, enoki mushrooms, and nori in Japanese or other Asian markets.
From “Daring Pairings’’ by Evan Goldstein
The fish: A rule for choosing any fish
Contributed by: Becky Selengut, Chef and author of Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast (to be published May 2011 by Sasquatch Press)
The Recipe: Mussels with Guinness Cream
For more info: Chef Reinvented blog [I just got a peek at the galleys - this book is going to be gorgeous, practical, a must-have!]
"Chef, writer, teacher, forager; too many interests, too little time, way too much to laugh about, except for the karmic hilarity of being a chef allergic to garlic. That's not funny. Stop laughing." That's Becky's description of her "Chef Reinvented Blog" and perfectly shows her sense of humor. She's also keenly aware of environmental issues and devoted to helping her clients and readers navigate the tricky waters of sustainable food. Here's an excerpt from her upcoming book.
The Good FISH rule:
F: farmed fish are not all bad (closed-containment, land-based fish farms are far superior to ocean based farms because the water is cleaned and recirculated, the ocean is not polluted, escapement is rare and diseases are not spread to wild populations). An exception to this would be ocean-farmed shellfish which is an excellent choice because no antibiotics are added to the water, no wild fish food is needed to feed them and they filter feed, cleaning the oceans). Many farmed fish (trout, arctic char, catfish, tilapia, barrimundi) don't require a lot of wild fish food to be taken from the oceans to feed them, unlike farmed salmon - a carnivorous fish.)
I: investigate (ask questions at your restaurants and fish counters and support good corporate decision making and chefs and fishmongers doing the right thing: PCC (on the West Coast), Safeway, Target, Wegmans (East Coast) and Whole Foods lead the pack in supporting sustainable seafood. Costco was ranked 14th worst according to Greenpeace.)
S: smaller (eat less fish, 1/4 pound per person of finfish is plenty; eat fish lower on the food chain to avoid mercury and preserve the ocean's ecological balance) and lastly:
H: home (eat fish from USA waters or farmed here - we have better laws and environmental standards when compared to fish caught/grown elsewhere).
A sneak Preview Recipe from Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast (to be published May 2011 by Sasquatch Press)
Mussels with Guinness Cream
I try to eat fairly lightly, and that means I don’t reach for cream every time I cook. Cream can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be
a crutch masking the flavors of the food it is paired with rather than elevating them. I tend to use cream judiciously, with the precision of
a rifle, saving the cream cannon for ice cream. Then, one day, while developing mussel recipes, I hit on a major exception to this rule. It
was on this auspicious day that Cream met Guinness, and a romance was born. Guinness elevated Cream into a decadent, malty, rich version of itself, and Cream elevated Guinness by rounding its caramel and chocolate edge with a warm white blanket. They lived happily
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds mussels
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
Pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup Guinness stout
3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh
Good, crusty bread
Scrub and debeard the mussels.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil; when it is hot, add the shallots and salt. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the shallots are lightly browned. Add the cayenne, Guinness, cream, horseradish, honey, and mussels. Toss the mussels through the sauce. Cover the pot, turn the heat to high, and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir the mussels, and when most of them have opened, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a large serving bowl. (Any mussels that do not open can be pried open using an oyster shucker or discarded.) Boil the sauce gently until reduced by half. Turn off the heat, swirl in the butter and parsley, taste for seasoning, and pour the sauce over the mussels. Serve with bread to dip in the Guinness cream.
Pairing : Guinness beer, but of course.
The fish: Bluefish
Contributed by: Chef Michael Leviton, Chef/Owner of Lumiere Restaurant and National Board Chair, Chefs Collaborative
The Recipe: Miso Glazed Bluefish with Shiitake Mushrooms and Mustard Sauce
For more info: See Seven Questions for Michael Leviton interview and click here to learn more about bluefish
Miso Glazed Bluefish
6-ounce bluefish filets, skinned and pin bones removed
Miso glaze (recipe follows)
Pre heat the oven to 500°. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of each filet with the miso glaze.
Heat a non-stick pan over a high heat. Add the fish flesh-side down and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the miso just begins to caramelize and turn black. Flip the fish and place it in the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until barley done. Remove the pan from the oven and let the fish rest in the pan for 1 minute. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the fish and then remove it from the pan.
½ cup red miso
¼ cup mirin
¼ cup canola oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
1 pound Shiitake mushrooms – stems removed and cut into quarters or sixths
Toss the mushrooms with canola oil to lightly coat. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Roast in a 500° oven for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly crispy on the edges.
To serve: Reheat the mushrooms in a tiny amount of canola oil. Add the soy-ginger vinaigrette (recipe follows). Add minced chives, finely diced shallots and toasted sesame seeds.
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup mirin
1/4 pound butter
Combine the Dijon mustard and mirin. Bring to a boil and whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
6 ounces soy
2 ounces mirin
12 ounces ginger vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 cup ginger oil (recipe follows)
6 ounces rice vinegar
8 ounces pureed ginger root
2 cups canola oil
Combine the above ingredients. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove from heat, let stand for 12 hours and then strain through a cheese cloth or coffee filter.
The fish: Cured Salmon Roe
Contributed by: Barton Seaver, Chef, Activist, National Geographic Fellow
The Recipe: Sweet Potato Soup with Cured Salmon Roe
For more info: See Interview, Seven Questions for Barton Seaver and the National Geographic Ocean site
Barton took time to speak with me this year and contributed three recipes. Do take a look at the National Geographic site - see Ocean Hero Barton in clips including Maryland blue crab and striped bass. Cook-wise is just one of the resources there. The Seafood Decision Guide is another great tool to be found there.
This is a great way to start out an elegant meal or a simple weeknight dinner. The soup can be made with any variety of sweet potato or autumn squash so buy what looks best and don’t be afraid to experiment a little with something new. The salmon roe is always sold salted and I like to re-brine it for a few minutes to remove a little of the salt to draw out more of its flavor. It also benefits from a quick marinade in a splash of sparkling wine, lime and olive oil.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 pound sweet potato or autumn squash, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cups water
4 ounces cream cheese
1 lime juiced
1 ounce sparkling wine
1 ounce salmon roe
For the soup, start with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the sweet potato and the water and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are falling apart. Transfer the soup to a high-speed blender and add the cream cheese and all but a few drops of the lime juice. Puree the soup until it is a very smooth texture. Place back in the pot to stay warm.
For the roe, cover the eggs with a little cold water and add a pinch of salt. Mix gently with your fingers to separate the eggs and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Pour off the water and any broken and floating eggs. Add the remaining lime juice, sparkling wine and the remaining olive oil to the eggs and stir gently.
To serve the soup ladle it into bowls and then spoon into the center the marinated salmon roe. Any remaining marinade can be drizzled over the top of the soup. Serve immediately.
The fish: Oysters
Contributed by: Barton Seaver
Broiled Oysters with Smoked Paprika and Peach
For more info: See Environmentalism on the Half-Shell on the National Geographic Ocean site and the Cook-Wise page; as Barton says "Save the world, Eat an Oyster"
Broiled Oysters with Smoked Paprika and Peach
I love to pair something a little sweet with oysters. The salty punch of the oyster liquor is well balanced with the aromatic sweetness of the peach and the slight bite of the paprika. This dish is great to cook over the grill if you are entertaining outside.
Serves 4 as an appetizer
16 oysters, washed thoroughly
1 large peach, diced into ¼ inch pieces
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pre-heat the broiler to high
For the oysters, open each one and discard the top shell. Slice the oyster free of the bottom shell so that the oyster is sitting freely in the shell. Reserve as much of the liquor as possible by placing the opened oysters on a bed of salt on a broiler pan.
For the peach topping heat the olive oil with the paprika over medium heat for three minutes. Mix the infused oil with the diced peaches and toss to combine. Place a spoonful of the peach mixture on top of each oyster and place under the broiler. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters begin to curl and the peaches are slightly browned.
The fish: Black Cod
Contributed by: Jessica, ILoveBlueSea.com
The Recipe: Black Cod with Harissa Beurre Blanc
For more info: Wild-caught Black Cod is a best choice per the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.
I used to love Chilean Seabass. The way it crisps up when you broil it, the rich texure and light flavor... but once I found out how threatened it was, I had to take a pass. I could not, in good conscience, enjoy eating a fish that was fighting for survival.
That's when I discovered Black Cod. Black Cod is also known as Butterfish, and when you give it a try, you'll immediately know why. It's a good choice for the health of our oceans as well as a superb choice for flavorful and sophisticated dishes.
Black Cod with Harissa Beurre Blanc
* 1.5 pounds Black Cod Fillets
* 2 shallots, minced finely
* 2 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
* 4 tablespoons white wine
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream
* 7 ounces cold butter, cut into 20 or so pieces
* 2 tsp Harissa (Tunisian chili paste)
* 2 tsp Lemon Juice
* salt to taste
* 1 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
* 1 cup couscous
* 2 cups shredded spinach
* 1/2 cup pine nuts
* 2 tablespoons lemon zest
Preheat the broiler and season the cod with salt and pepper. Lightly oil a glass pan and place the fillets, skin side down, in the pan. Place in the broiler and cook for 20 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and lightly browned around the edges. In the meantime, get the cous cous started.
Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil. Add the couscous to the water, give it a good stir, cover and remove from heat.
Place the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat. Turn the pine nuts often and roast until they turn light brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Combine the chopped spinach with the hot couscous, lemon zest and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the shallots, vinegar and wine into a small heavy pan (a saucier pan will work best, but any heavy pan will do). Heat on medium until the liquid reduces and the sharp alcohol/vinegar scent subsides.
Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on medium until it reduces to just a few tablespoons of liquid. Turn the heat down to low.
Cut the cold butter into pieces and add them one at a time while constantly stirring. Don't add another piece until the previous one has melted completely. You want the butter to slowly melt, not boil. Remove the pan from the heat all together if necessary.
Once the butter is incorporated and the sauce is smooth, stir in the Harissa, lemon and salt.
Create a bed of couscous, place the cod on top and add a generous serving of the sauce. Garnish with fresh lemon thyme or parsley.