Sunday, May 15, 2011

Black Cod with Lemongrass Curry Coconut Broth

Curry is delicious. Coconut milk is delicious. Lemongrass is exotic AND delicious. Cod likes being in my belly. Well then you know what, kids? Add all that up and this equals one deeeeeeeelightfully tasty meal! I also enjoy basmati rice and bok choy - so now you've got a well rounded dish that looks purdy and gets check marks on the "good for you" rate card. You could substitute for another mild white fish like tilapia or mahi-mahi, but black cod (which is actually sablefish ... weird) is I think the nicest.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch knob ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (or substitute for zest of 1 lime if you can't find kaffir leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon Madras curry
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cilantro sprigs
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Ingredients for the cod:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 7-ounce cod fillets, 1 1/2-inches thick
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste

To accompany:

  • Baby bok choy, quartered & steamed (with salt & some butter)
  • Cooked basmati (or jasmine) rice (this can cook while you start the sauce - follow cooking instructions on the bag. Duh.)

To prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. To make the broth, melt the butter in a small sauté pan or wok over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and curry and sweat until tender and with no color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat simmer for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cilantro, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine chinois and set aside.
  3. Put the canola oil in a large skillet. Place over high heat until oil is just smoking. Season the cod on both sides with salt and pepper. Put the cod in the skillet (cook in batches if you need - don't crowd the pan or it won't crust up properly) and sauté until golden brown and crusted on the bottom, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn and sear on the other side for 30 seconds. Put the pan in the oven and roast until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in the fish for 5 seconds, feels hot when touched to your lip, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  4. To serve, finish the sauce with the lime juice. In each of 4 bowls, place a heap of basmati rice, lay bok choy over top and top with a piece of cod. Pour the sauce over the cod and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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