Cod Basquaise

If you haven’t noticed yet, I am a fan of Eric Ripert. Amy and I picked up a Roku for streaming movies and whatever else not too long ago, and on one of the channels I found his show Avec Eric.  I had seen an episode or two of the show before, but now I can watch to my heart’s content.  I started with an episode kind of at random, and saw a dish that sounded fantastic. It ended up being somewhat similar to the Poulet Basquaise that I made a while back, and still make from time to time.  There were, of course, some significant differences as well.  Some of the things went against the ideas I had about wine and food. I figured that Eric Ripert knows what he is doing, and I would go along with what he said. In this case red wine and fish together? Yes, yes indeed!

I frequently don’t follow recipes exactly. I do if it is something I am not familiar with, but if I have a fair idea of where things are headed I tend to fudge amounts, but follow the method and actual ingredients. Doing this also makes it very easy for me at least to adjust quantities to fit the number of people eating, so that I don’t have half a bell pepper laying around when I’m done cooking.

The recipe I had goes like this:

3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup small diced Serrano ham
½ cup small diced red bell
pepper
½ cups small diced yellow bell
pepper
1 cup tomato, peeled, seeded
and diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh
thyme leaves
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
– fine sea salt and freshly
ground pepper
– Espelette pepper or cayenne

That is not exactly what I did of course. Mine ended up more like:

olive oil

1 medium onion diced medium fine

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 red bell pepper medium fine dice

1 orange bell pepper medium fine dice

4 roma tomatoes seeded, medium fine dice

1 TBSP thyme

red wine (I didn’t measure, it might have ended up a cup)

Parsley, fresh chopped

salt and pepper

cayenne pepper

canola oil

cod fillets

salt and white pepper

fresh thyme sprigs

2 cloves of garlic, halved

Got everything ready to go?  Ok, in a medium skillet heat the olive oil.  Then add the onions and garlic to the pan, and cook over medium heat until clear.  Add the bell peppers, and cook until nearly tender and add the tomato and thyme.  Cook until the tomatoes are almost tender and add the wine.  Bring it to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer to reduce (don’t forget to stir from time to time) to almost a jam consistency, and stir in the parsley.

Now we can tackle the cod… Season it on both sides with salt, white pepper and cayenne.  Heat a skillet, and add the canola oil.  Start with the skin side up and sear the cod. Put in the garlic and thyme sprigs in the pan with the fish.  Now, here is a place where this can go wrong.  Once you put the fish in the pan DO NOT touch it! The fish will be stuck, and if you try to force it you’ll just make a mess.  Leave it alone for a couple of minutes, with the heat on medium. Gently poke the fish, and if it scoots a little you can flip it. Be gentle with it.  Flipping things too quickly can get you burned pretty easily. I know it is a bit counter-intuitive, but go slowly.  Move the garlic and thyme, and get your spatula under a piece of fish, then hold it on the spatula as you flip it over, and place the garlic and thyme on top of the fish.  Continue cooking over medium heat until the fish is cooked through. To test this take a metal skewer and insert it into the thickest part of the fish, and leave it there for about 5 seconds.  When you pull it out it should feel warm when you touch it to your lip.

To plate this up I put some of the sauce on the plate, and place the fish on top.  We decided to have some roasted potatoes with dinner that evening.  This was an amazing dinner, and I can’t wait to make it again!

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One response

  1. Amy

    Seriously, people … it was awesome!

    August 26, 2011 at 7:10 am

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