When it comes to fish, my husband is definitely a picky eater. Although he likes shell fish, he is not a fan of other seafood. So recently, when I prepared pan roasted cod and vegetables topped with a light but creamy curry sauce, I expected his usual shrug, but instead, he raved about this dish!
The idea for the recipe came about serendipitously. In Paris last summer, we had arranged to meet a friend for lunch at a new restaurant, but when we discovered it was closed, we found a small café nearby. My spouse and friend ordered “steak frites,” but I chose the cod and vegetables in curry sauce. The latter turned out to be a winner—a dish with a beautiful blend of flavors, colors, and textures.
At home, I tried my own version. I sautéed thick cod fillets in a skillet, then added a medley of blanched vegetables, including sugar snaps, small red skin potatoes, and carrots to the pan before popping it in the oven. The sauce, which can be assembled ahead, is a combination of leeks, white wine, and cream scented with curry, and takes only about 15 minutes to make.
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Pan Roasted Cod and Vegetables with Curry Cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
1 tsp curry powder
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1 /4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 tbsp crème fraiche
Pinch cayenne pepper
Cod Fillets and Vegetables
8 small red skin or yellow potatoes (10 oz total) unpeeled but scrubbed, cut into quarters
2 to 3 medium carrots (8 oz total), peeled and cut on the diagonal in 1/4inch thick slices
8 oz sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
4 thick cod fillets, 6 to 7 oz each and about 3/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for sautéing the fish
4 to 6 tsp chopped cilantro
1. For curry cream, heat oil until hot in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add curry powder and cook and stir 1 minute. Add wine, and cook until it has almost all evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes or longer. Add stock and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until it has reduced to 1 cup.
2. Whisk in cream and then crème fraîche, and cook 4 to 5 minutes or more until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with a pinch of cayenne and with salt to taste. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat, stirring, over medium heat.)
3. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
4. Bring a large saucepan of water set over high heat to a boil. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until just tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add sugar snaps and cook 3 minutes more. Drain vegetables in a colander and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
5. Pat cod fillets dry with paper towels and season each side with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Heat 2 tablespoons or enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large, heavy ovenproof skillet well. Set pan over medium high heat and when very hot, add fillets and cook 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned, then turn and cook a minute more. Scatter the vegetables around the fish.
6. Transfer skillet to the oven. Cook until fish flakes easy and is opaque all the way through, 6 to 8 minutes or more depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove from oven and spoon sauce over the fillets. Sprinkle fish and vegetables with cilantro. Pass remaining sauce in a small bowl . Serves 4.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2019