I like to say I was born with a stainless steel thumb - my culinary equivalent of the green thumb - and that's a lucky thing for me since my passion in life is food and cooking, and everything that comes a long with it.
What do I do with my life? I dream food, think food, look at food, read about food, work in the food business, travel via food, talk about food, use food as my artistic muse, teach others about food, and clearly, cook, play with and EAT food!
Food is my compass.
seared black cod with thai flavors, and a kick to boot! (?)
Ahh black cod how I love you! Your ability to take on a melange of flavors - yet still retain your delicate, velvety flakiness through and through. Braised with miso to take on some sweetness, pan seared with Thai flavors for a bit of a KICK(!), or even simply grilled with a little olive oil and lemon, to let the fish really shine - all different takes, all equally delicious! Fortunately, my fishmonger has some beautiful sides of black cod available, fresh as can be - it looked like it was my lucky day! Tonight, I was in the mood to head to the far East for a little bit of a kick with my black cod. The cod was marinated in a vinaigrette of sriracha, rice wine vinegar, lime, and fish sauce, then paired with a cool Asian slaw. For two people, I used about 2/3 of a pound of black cod.
FIRST!! Make ginger oil! In a small jar, combine about 4 oz of finely minced, peeled ginger with about 1/2 olive oil. Let this stand at room temperature, covered for about 2 hours - after that time, strain out the ginger pieces and reserve the oil for later.
Juice of three limes
An equal amount of rice wine vinegar
2 T fish sauce
1 T sriracha
1 t palm sugar
1/3 cup canola, or some neutral oil
Whisk this together, or shake together in a closed jar until the mixture has emulsified. Place the cod either in a shallow dish or a Ziploc and cover with the marinade. Let this marinate for at least 15 minutes - but not too long! The acid from the lime juice will start cooking the flesh of the fish.
While you're letting the fish marinate, you can start with your slaw! You can really use any number of vegetables, but mine consisted of carrots, scallions, green papaya, mint, and cilantro.
one step towards a beautiful julienne!
Really, using a mandoline as above to julienne vegetables is completely unnecessary, but I like to use this gadget as often as possible. It's fun! Plus, you always get uniformly thick pieces of whatever it is you're slicing.
1 large carrot, julienned
1 green papaya, julienned
2 scallions, green parts only, julienned
1/4 cup mint, chiffonade
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 t soy sauce
1 t hoisin
1 t mirin
1 t rice vinegar
1/2 t sesame oil
1.5 T ginger oil (from above!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Prepare all of the above items and toss together in a bowl. Then, in a separate little jar, combine all the goodies for the dressing and shake away! Wait until you're ready to plate to dress the slaw.
And on to the main event!! Remove the cod from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a saute pan, big enough to hold the fish, on medium-high heat and swirl in just a tad bit of olive oil. You really don't need much since there's already some in the marinade. Once the oil is shimmering, lay the fish, flesh side down into the pan and let it sizzle away! Cook for a few minutes on this side - remember, fish is very stubborn. It will NOT let go of the pan until it wants to - so please wait for the fish to WANT to turn, lest you'll end up with a pan full of fish bits and a gnarly looking fillet. When it's ready - flip! Let it just cook through and remove the fish from the pan.
nice and crispy!
Now you're ready to plate! Toss the slaw with enough vinaigrette to dress it all, but don't overdress! Place a nice little mound of the slaw in the middle of a plate, top with a bit of the cod, and sprinkle with some more mint. For that extra kick, add some sriracha on the side - and squeeze a bit of lime over top.
Sidenote: Seriously, I have a sriracha problem. I want it on EVERYTHING! My chefs know to leave it out when I'm eating because, whether or not their Haitian fish stew with habaneros IS spicy, I will definitely want it spicier. Without fail.
Delicious!! The fish was sweet and flaky, with just a hint of the marinade - not overpowering at all, but it definitely penetrated through the flesh. The slaw brightened up the entire dish and added a nice crunch. And the sriracha. Oh, the sriracha. I don't have to go into that, but if you like spicy, I would definitely recommend a little bit of this as a "condiment" if you will. Delicious, refreshing, hearty, and filling! What more could you ask for?!