Pan Roasted Cod and Vegetables Please a Picky Eater!

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.

This all-in-one main course is delicate, yet satisfying at the same time. Add a salad of mixed greens tossed in your favorite vinaigrette and a crusty artisan loaf or a baguette to complete the menu.


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Pan Roasted Cod and Vegetables with Curry Cream

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
Kosher salt
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
Cayenne 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

10 thoughts on “Pan Roasted Cod and Vegetables Please a Picky Eater!

  1. I would love to make this dish, but my husband dislikes curry. Could I substitute another herb or seasoning?

    • Are you familiar with beurre blanc, the classic butter, shallot, and wine sauce that goes so well with fish?
      If not, you could just drizzle fish with lemon and melted butter and fresh spring herbs such as chives and tarragon.

      The curry is a vibrant flavoring for the cream sauce and also gives it its color so I can’t think of a substitute, but rather am suggesting another
      sauce. Hope this helps. Betty

    • Hope you get a chance to try it. I’ve made it quite a few times and sometimes I use haricots verts and cook them about 5 minutes instead of the snap peas.

    • Can’t wait to try this! Once I leave Syracuse and arrive in RI in May. Absolutely love your cod with spinach, garbanzoes and lemon. This looks like another keeper and with curry even better!

  2. This was great! First time making one of Betty’s recipes, although I have had good intentions of making so many….. The sauce was incredible…. Thanks, I will work to make more in the future.

    • Thank you, Kim, for your comment. Nothing pleases me more than knowing that readers are using and enjoying my recipes. I’m so happy you
      liked that sauce. That’s what got my husband’s attention! Betty

  3. Thanks, Betty – great recipe! My wife doesn’t like it when I cook cod. She says that it’s “bland and boring”. She really enjoyed this dish though! Thanks for the education in cooking cod!

    • Thank you so much, Tim, for note. I’m so pleased your wife liked cod prepared with that curry sauce. My husband has the same view of cod (and other non shellfish!) as your wife, and he liked this recipe too!

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