Monday, January 23, 2006

Cabillaud à la Ménagère

Cod has a great tasting fillet. Being an oily fish, the fillet can be braised along with potatoes with absolutely delectable results. You don't have to worry about this kind of fish going dry if you bake it along with root vegetables for awhile. This surprised me at first, because I always felt that nothing was more regrettable than overcooked fish, and I used to hover needlessly over them all. The more I learn about fish in the French diet, the more happy I am to discover that a variety of species tolerate different cooking methods and times. Cod is a relatively low maintenance fish with high taste ratio for the effort. I'm happy to enjoy more time with my family while I cook up some delicious cod in this simple way.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.

1 onion, sliced not too thin
6-8 peeled new potatoes or 1-2 large potatoes that have been washed, peeled, cut into 4 pieces and tourned. (tourning is optional)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt

Grease a porcelain or terra cotta oven proof dish that will hold the fish. Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the dish. Microwave the butter in a small dish until just melted, and add the olive oil, stir the mixture to blend. Drizzle roughly half of the butter/oil mixture over the potatoes. Lay the fish filets flat over the potatoes, drizzle the rest of the butter/oil over the top of the filets, and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil, to seal it the best you can. Place in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. The onion and potato will heat up and release steam, in turn steaming the cod, which will release it's own liquid to mingle with the rest. Serve hot with steamed vegetables.

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