After a couple of pork-heavy dinners in a row, I was craving something a little lighter last night. I thought about the remaining fish filets I had stashed in the freezer a couple weeks back, and decided to plan something around one of them. I’m still swooning at the memory of the striped bass I had at La Laiterie last Friday night, so I thought it was perhaps too soon to cook it again at home. So it would be cod then – but how to prepare it?
I didn’t want to roast it again, and fried fish didn’t really appeal, so in the end, I decided to revisit a technique I don’t use often enough when cooking fish: poaching. To simplify things even more, I decided to forego the traditional court-bouillon and poach the fish in olive oil.
I divided the cod into three relatively equal pieces, seasoned them well with my favorite spiced sea salt, and nestled them in a small baking dish. I added enough extra virgin olive oil to cover them, then placed them in a preheated oven set to 260 – the lowest setting on our oven. I set a timer for 25 minutes and got to work on accompaniments: Simmons Farm spinach, sauteed with sliced shallot, some previously cooked chickpeas (you can, of course, substitute canned) added to the pan to warm through, and a Middle Eastern-inspired sauce of flat-leaf parsley, chives, mint, chile flakes, lemon and more olive oil.
The cod cooked up beautifully, with a silky, flaky texture and no hint of greasiness, and the chickpea-spinach combo was a hit as well. I was so impressed with the results I can’t wait to try this again with other varieties of seafood (Bomster scallops, I’m looking at you).