(Olive Oil Poached Black Cod in a Saffron Orange Nage)
Ingredients for 8 servings:
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup shallots, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups shrimp stock*
1 quart fish stock
2 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon saffron
Grated zest of 2 oranges
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Juice of 3 oranges
1/3 cup kosher salt
4 pounds black cod
12 oz + olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup chopped olives or capers
2 cups chopped tomatoes or cherry tomato halves
1/3 cup lemon juice
White pepper and sea salt
Chopped parsley leaves
Poached shrimp and steamed mussels (optional)
Nage: Slowly saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil over a medium low heat until they soften. Add the wine and stocks, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the bay leaf, saffron, zests, fennel seed, paprika and orange juice. Cook, uncovered, until reduced by 1/3, about 1/2 hour. Strain the reduction and reserve.
Fish: Brine: Dissolve 1/3 cup kosher salt in 5 cups warm water. Refrigerate until chilled. Cut the cod into 8 – 6 ounce servings and add them to the brine to cover for 10 minutes. Remove them and wipe dry. Discard the brine.
Fish: Poaching: Slowly heat the olive oil with lemon zest in a deep skillet large enough to hold all the cod pieces in a single layer. When the oil reaches 130 degrees, gradually add the cod pieces and cook slowly, basting them if they aren’t covered by the oil and holding the oil temperature at 130 degrees. Remove when the fish reaches the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees (15 to 20 minutes). The fish can be held in a 250 degree oven while assembling the plate.
Finish Nage: Return the nage to a simmer over medium low heat. Stir in the honey, whisk in the butter then add the olives or capers, tomatoes and parsley leaves. Season to taste.
Serving: Garnish: Center each portion of cod in a deep dinner plate and spoon the nage around it. Garnish with shaved fennel and add optional shrimp and mussels around the edge of the plate. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
*Shrimp Stock: Saute 1/2 cup mirepoix in olive oil to cover the bottom in a deep 8” skillet. Add 3 cups water and 1 cup white wine to the pan and heat to a simmer. Rinse off 1 pound shrimp (10-15 count) and add them to this bouillon. When the shrimp begin to turn color turn off the heat and let the shrimp steep for 5 -10 minutes until cooked through. Remove the shrimp and shell them when they are cool enough to handle returning the shells to the bouillon and reserving the shrimp for garnish. Reduce the broth to 2 cups and reserve for the nage. Reheat shrimp in a small amount of nage before garnishing the plate.
Adapted from an article in the New York Times Magazine, “Recipe Redux: Bouillabaise, 1904“, published March 12, 2010.