The Literate Chef

Poached Cod with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

In Fish, Recipes on September 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Poached Cod with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Poached Cod with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

Despite the proliferation and availability of Cod on the eponymous Cape where we’ve made our home for the past several years, I usually refrain from cooking it, as it does not lend itself to many cooking techniques. You can’t grill it, it falls apart too easily. Similarly you can’t sauté it, it quickly turns to mush. I suppose you could bake or roast it, but who wants to heat up the oven to 400 degrees in the summer. My dear wife (a/k/a Grammy) has been after me to prepare it for some time. So yesterday, after recalling an earlier success with Pan-Seared Cod, I decided to try poaching and picked up a lovely one pound fillet at our local fishmonger. It was a perfect piece, center cut, about one inch thick throughout, which makes for even cooking.

Ever helpful, Grammy suggested a combination of tomatoes, olives and capers, similar to the preparation used in Red Snapper LivorneseI complied with her suggestion, I’d be a fool not to,  and last night’s dinner was a rousing success.

(Total preparation and cooking time 30 minutes; serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 lb. Cod fillet, preferably 1 inch thick throughout
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup clam juice or fish stock
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
1 cup stuffed green olives (with pimento) halved widthwise
5 tbsp. capers with juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

1. Salt & pepper the Cod fillet on both sides.
2. In a braising pan or a sauté pan  or a skillet that has a cover, heat the olive oil on medium low, add the shallots and cook until soft.
3. Add the white wine, bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the seasoned Cod.
5. Add the clam juice, or fish stock.
6. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers, cover and poach for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fish begins to flake.
7. Gently remove the Cod fillet, divide in two, plate and keep warm.
8. Bring the sauce to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes then, spoon the sauce equally over each plate.

  1. Cod! My favorite fish!

  2. Recipe sounds very good, and I definitely will try it. Recommend using dried salt cod where available (prepared by overnight soaking, of course) for firmer texture than fresh.

    In the days of sailing the bounding main, His/Her Majesty’s ship’s always had a full stock of salt cod. In the months of monotonous fare aboard ship (hardtack with weevils, dried pork, etc.), It was known that the one thing the crew never seemed to tire of was the cod. I won’t test that theory, but it’s pretty good whenever I have it, simmered in milk, etc., and served flaked with boiled Yukon golds and Dijon mustard. Fit for a king.

  3. Well, “etc.” includes garlic and other flavorings for the cod, and the spuds are definitely pan-fried golden (despite my normal avoidance of frying, -deep or otherwise), not boiled.

    But you needed to know that, right?

  4. I didn’t know that about cod. Interesting. But for a summer fish dish? This is perfection. You can’t beat tomatoes, olives, and capers!!! Gorgeous!

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