Chef Michael Schlow's secret for his crisp fish is using dried potato flakes, also known as instant mashed potatoes. Do not use potato granules. At the restaurant, Café Louis, he garnishes the plates with dots of carrot oil.
Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Large pinch of salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch sticks
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dried potato flakes
2 tablespoons rice flour or cornstarch
1 large egg
Four 6-ounce skinless cod fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
6 ounces assorted wild mushrooms, such as morels and stemmed shiitakes, halved or quartered if large
How to Make It
In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the parsley until just limp, about 30 seconds. Drain, rinse and squeeze dry. Transfer the parsley to a blender, add the ice cubes and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice and sugar. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a nonreactive skillet. Add the carrots and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile, in a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the peas until tender, about 3 minutes for frozen and 10 minutes for fresh; drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, carrots, lemon juice, thyme and rosemary, season with salt and pepper and cook until just heated through, about 2 minutes; keep warm.
In a shallow bowl, combine the potato flakes and rice flour. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper. Dip the tops into the egg mixture, then press into the potato flakes. Put the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large unheated nonstick skillet. Add the fish, potato sides down, and cook over high heat until golden, about 7 minutes. Carefully turn the fish, lower the heat to moderate and cook until the flesh flakes easily but is still slightly opaque in the center, about 3 minutes longer.
Spoon the vegetables onto 4 plates. Set the cod on the vegetables, crusted sides up, spoon the parsley vinaigrette around the fish and serve.
The vinaigrette can stand for up to 6 hours.
Since cod is mild, all that's needed is a simple, refreshing white, such as Pinot Grigio from Italy.
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