Ben's "Fancy" Cod

This is my very simple, but fancy-looking preparation for cod, haddock, or hake (a thicker, firm-fleshed white fish). Probably also works well with salmon, tuna, or swordfish. Not so good for a thinner cut of fish like sole or tilapia. The advantage of this dish is that you get the beauty and flavor of browning without having to flip the fish while cooking - it's browned first, then steamed the rest of the way.

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • 3/4 lb fish fillets
  • 8 oz pea or snow-pea shoots
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 small chunk ginger root
  • 1/4 lb snow-peas or sugar snaps
  • Butter and good olive oil for cooking

Preparation:

Cut the leek greens off just above where they are turning from white to light green (retaining some of the light green part). Now cut the leek along its length from just above the roots to the end on two 90 degree axes This gives you a long "paintbrush" of leaves still attached to the root bulb, which is very easy to rinse well. After rinsing, chop the leek crosswis, starting at the leaves up to the bulb.

Peel the ginger then cut the flesh into matchsticks by slicing it into thin slices, then stacking the slices and repeating.

Wash the pea shoots and the snow peas.

Put some olive oil in a non-stick skillet (for which you have a cover). Over medium heat cook the leek and ginger until the leek is tender, then remove to a bowl.

Add about a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and bring the heat to high, letting the butter begin turning brown. Cut the cod pieces into two individual-serving sized pieces and add them "former skin side" down to the skillet and let them begin browning.

Once the fillets have started browning, reduce the heat to medium-low and spoon the leek and ginger mixture onto the fillets, then add the pea shoots on top of the whole shebang. Cover and let cook for a few minutes, then add the snow-peas and cover again.

To serve, first take out the snow-peas and place 1/2 on the side of each plate, then take the shoots and make a bed for the fish. Take each fillet and, flipping it, put it on the bed of shoots. The bottom side (now top) should be nice and brown, for a pretty presentation. Spoon the remaining leek and ginger and liquid onto each fillet.

If you want carbs, add a few boiled fingerling potatoes to each plate.

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