Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Elegant fish: Curry-infused cod with braised leeks

Mom always told me to read a recipe thru completely before starting... I didn't listen. I typically scan the list of ingredients and go on my merry way. I must say it has caused some rather tasty mishaps over the years. On other occasions, it's created some undue stress in the otherwise peaceful haven that is my kitchen. On Saturday, it was a little bit of both.

I decided to try the Curry-Infused Cod with Braised Leeks and Crispy Potatoes from Cooking with Curtis by Curtis Stone. I love leeks, I love curry, and cod was on special. Perfect! So on Saturday at about 3 p.m. I decided to get things prepped. I read the first few lines of the recipe and realized I was supposed to infuse the oil for 24 hours and then marinate the fish for 12. I had about 4 hours total, maybe 5 if we ate a little late. Hmmmm...

So, I improvised. I took a few shortcuts and I must say it turned out wonderful. Maybe not what Curtis intended, but I'll make it again and probably repeat my blunders - I might cut back a little on the spices, we shall see. What follows is my version... (by the way, the smashed potatoes are super fun to make!)

Curry-infused Cod with Braised Leeks and Crispy Potatoes
adapted from Cooking with Curtis
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground
  • 2 tsp. madras curry powder
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 portions fresh cod, skinless
  • olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 leeks, white and light green parts only, trimmed close to the root so they hold together, then quartered lengthwise
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 12 baby new potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the spices in a small pan and heat until fragrant. Stir in the oil, then let it come to room temperature. Strain it to get and large spices out. Pour it into a shallow dish and add the fish, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes until just cooked. Strain and set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, lightly smash each (this is wicked fun) with the bottom of a saucepan. You want to break the skin, but the smashed potato should stay in one piece.

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan and add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Sweat for about 3 minutes then add the leeks and stock. Simmer until the veggies are tender. Remove the carrots, leeks and celery to a plate and keep warm. Swirl the cold butter into the pan and let it reduce for a few minutes.

Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add the potatoes, sprinkling them with salt and pepper to taste. Fry on both sides until brown and crispy.

Heat a third pan, preferably non-stick, and add the fish, cooking a few minutes on each side until just cooked. Sprinkle it with a little salt, too. My fish was thick so it took 4-5 minutes a side. Thinner pieces will only need 2-3 per side. A toothpick stuck in the fish should encounter no resistance.

To finish the sauce, puree it with an immersion blender.

To serve, arrange some of the vegetables on the plate. Top each with a piece of fish. Pile some potatoes on the side then pour the sauce around it.

Serves 2. Can easily be doubled or tripled for more people.


citronetvanille said...

That is the type of recipes I like! Fish and leeks is like banana and nutella! Great dish!

Divina Pe, RHN said...

That looks gorgeous.

The Klutzy Cook said...

That looks and sounds great. Amazing what a bit of 'klutziness' does in the kitchen. You never know what great results will eventuate!

Jacktels Kochbuch said...

presentation extremely elegant and super delicious

ladyberd said...

Thanks - it's quite a easy recipe - I've made it again since. The rpesentation is really helped by using the immersion blender on the sauce.

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