Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday: Lingcod with Creamy Pea Purée

The beauty of fish and seafood is that you can enjoy these 'treasures of the sea' every day of the month without eating the same thing twice. Buttery lingcod is a delicious low-fat fish that has a deliciously mild, slightly sweet flavour with a firm, almost dense texture, that turns white when cooked. Typically found on the North American Pacific coast, especially in the coastal waters of British Columbia, Lingcod isn’t a cod at all — it's actually a member of the greenling family, but gets its name from the cod-like appearance of it’s meat. A versatile fish, Lingcod's firm, sweet flesh yields great flavour, whether baked, broiled, grilled or added to soups, stews and even fish tacos. This recipe for Sautéed Lingcod with Creamy Pea Purée was adapted from one featured in Fish: Recipes from the Sea, which first appeared in a 2012 issue of Saveur. The natural culinary marriage between white fish and fresh peas is pure magic, and this easy recipe makes the most of these sensational springtime flavours, and a perfect dish for Good Friday.

Lingcod coated with mustard seeds

Shallots are sautéed until soft then peas and water are added and cooked further

The mixture is reduced for about 10 minutes

Most of the pea mixture is puréed with cream, 
producing a fresh and flavourful crème du petits pois

A tablespoon of olive oil is warmed over medium-high heat

The lingcod is added to the pan and sautéed 4 minutes per side

After 8 minutes the lingcod is perfectly cooked with a moist and flakey centre

Sautéed Lingcod with a Creamy Pea Purée
Serves 2

3/4-pound Lingcod filet, cut into 2 pieces
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed peas
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp roughly chopped dill and whole sprigs, to garnish

Sprinkle the lingcod evenly with mustard seeds and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, heat butter in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, 1 cup of water, salt and pepper, and cover partially with a lid. Cook until the mixture is reduced, about 10 minutes. Set the sauce aside and keep warm.

Purée 3/4 of the peas, cream, and salt and pepper in a food processor, then transfer to a small saucepan to keep warm over low heat. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cod and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Season with salt. To serve, divide the pea purée among 2 serving plates and top with the cod. Spoon over the shallot-pea sauce, sprinkle with chopped dill and garnish with some larger sprigs for show.