Eat at
#10143: Could we put Shauns Pan seared cod with creamy fennel ragout in T&T?

Posted by: EvaN at 7:29 am on Mar 21, 2008

I have made this dish four times, for four different groups of people, and it has gotten rave reviews. Its easy to make and totally delicious. It hasn't failed me once, and I think this is one of the recipes that one can always rely on.

PS: I prefer the reduced sauce version like Shaun (See Shaun's notes at the bottom.)

Pan-seared cod with creamy fennel ragout
Gourmet December 2003

Makes 4 servings.

4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise; 2 lb), stalks discarded and bulbs cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 (7-oz) pieces cod, scrod, or halibut fillet (about 1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Garnish: fennel fronds

Cook bacon in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to fat in skillet, then cook fennel with salt and pepper over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add broth, cream, tomatoes, and garlic to fennel and cook, partially covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and cream is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

*Shaun in TO's notes:

This is a real winner, and low-stress for entertaining.

I use Alaskan black cod (aka sablefish) and roast the cod instead of pan-frying it, which is what the original calls for -- less mess and less cooking smell. Salt and pepper the fish, put it in a roasting pan, scatter diced bacon around it, roast at 450 for 12 to 15 minutes. (Black cod is one of the few fish that actually benefits from overcooking.) Stir some of the bacon into the ragout if you want, or scatter it over the plated dish.

I also reduce the amount of liquid called for by about half -- so about a cup of chicken broth and 2 tablespoons cream. Otherwise I find it too soupy. The ragout can be done ahead and gently reheated.

"I Love Cooking With Wine. Sometimes I Even Put It In The Food."