Friday, February 8, 2013

Herb-Crusted Black Cod with Olive-Lemon Chard

It's that time of the bi-week where we get our Siren SeaSA drop. This time we came close to getting herring but were just as happy to get black cod fillets again. Time for a new method of preparing them. I based this one on an Epicurious recipe. I didn't quite agree with the amounts so putting the ones I used here. YMMV.

Simmering the lemon to soften it for the chard sauce

Whole coriander and cumin seeds

Toasting the seeds in my trusty small iron skillet

toasted and ...

... pounded

Cod fillets

Dusting the fillets

Finishing up the fillets on the heat

Lots of chard leaves

Prepared lemon

Lemon mixed with the pitted olives

1 lemon
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt 
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 6-ounce pieces skin-on black cod fillets
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 large bunches Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 pounds total), ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
2 tablespoons oil-cured black olives, pitted, chopped

Place the lemon in a small saucepan adding water just to cover. Place a small heatproof bowl filled with water inside the saucepan on top of the lemon to keep it submerged. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer cooking until the lemon is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Drain, then cut the lemon in half to cool.
Scoop out the pulp from both lemon halves with a spoon and press it through a coarse-mesh sieve over a small bowl making sure to also clean the bottom of the sieve into the bowl. Discard whatever seeds and/or solids remains in the sieve. Finely chop the peel to also add to the pulp. Set aside.
Toast the whole coriander and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until slightly darkened and fragrant, making sure not to burn them.
Pound the coriander and cumin seeds with the salt and peppercorns in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Rub the spice mixture onto all sides of the fillets. 
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then place the fillets skin side down in the skillet. Cook until browned and crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Turn then cook until just opaque in the center and the fish starts to flake, about 2-4 minutes more.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is translucent and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chard by the handful, tossing and allowing it to wilt slightly between additions. Cover the skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until all of the chard is tender, 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
Mix olives and reserved lemon mixture into chard. Season with salt, pepper, and more crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve fish with chard.


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