From: Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo, L’Escale Restaurant, Greenwich, CT. Yield: 4 servings.
4 black cod fillets, approximately
6 oz. each
4 oz. baby carrots
1 small bulb fennel
4 oz. pearl onions
2 oz. fava beans or sugar snap peas
3 oz. sugarcane juice or 2 oz. mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
to taste, salt
to taste, black pepper
2 oz. spiced lobster broth (recipe follows)
as needed for garnish, cilantro sprig
Spiced Lobster Broth:
Yields 2 cups
1 cup garlic, whole
2 cups peanut oil
3 cups lobster stock
½ cup gingerroot, chopped
1½ Tbsp. red Thai curry paste
1 Tbsp. fermented black beans
3 oz. rock sugar or organic turbinado sugar
½ oz. kosher salt
½ oz. black pepper, ground
In a blender, process the garlic and peanut oil until finely minced. Combine with cold lobster stock and chopped ginger; bring to a simmer. Add curry paste, black beans and sugar. Cook for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
Cut carrots into batons. Peel the outside ribs of fennel then cut lengthwise into wedges. Blanch onions for 2 minutes in boiling water; drain and peel. Blanch fava beans or sugar snap peas for 1 minute in boiling water, then drain. (If using sugar snap peas, peel after draining.) Brush top of black cod fillets with mixture of sugarcane juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with freshly chopped ginger. Lightly season with salt and immediately refrigerate, covered, until needed.
Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in heavy frying pan and stir in all vegetables. Cook gently for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until just soft. Season with salt and black pepper; remove from heat and keep warm. Brush olive oil over baking tray large enough for all fillets in one layer; arrange fish on the pan. Roast until medium, about 8 minutes. Fillets should be cooked on the outside but still moist and slightly underdone on the inside.
To serve: Ladle spiced lobster broth equally between 4 plates; place vegetables in center of sauce, then set the fish on top of the vegetables. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.
Recipe and photo: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute