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Sautéed Cod with Rich Ketchup Sauce

Ketchup is the mystery ingredient in the complexly flavored sauce for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's sublime cod and vegetable dish.

slideshow Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 plum tomato—peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 6 large green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 6 alamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nonpareil capers
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons shredded basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless cod steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter with the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar and Tabasco and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, celery and chile and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a bowl and add the tomato, olives, capers, saffron, basil and thyme.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Season the cod with salt and pepper and add the steaks to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp and the flesh flakes easily, about 12 minutes.
  4. Rewarm the sauce and pour about 2 tablespoons in the center of each of 4 large dinner plates. Set the cod steaks on the sauce and spoon the vegetables on top. Serve immediately, passing any additional sauce alongside.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Let the vegetables return to room temperature before serving.

Contributed By Photo © Lucy Schaeffer Published March 2000

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