Poached Cod with Red Pepper Cream Sauce

The need for physical sustenance provided yet another convenient excuse for me to get into the kitchen.  I was feeling poached fish tonight, so I went with cod fillets in a court bouillon, which is an aromatic, mildly acidic poaching liquid that adds a subtle but distinctly pleasant flavor to the fish.  From there I decided to wing it and create a sauce of my own to top it, which turned out to be a roasted red pepper cream sauce.

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For the court bouillon, here’s what you will need:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 oz. white wine vinegar
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 12 oz. mirepoix
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Parsley stems (about a 1 inch bunch)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed black peppercorns

Throw it all in a pot, bring it to a boil and then back it down to a simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the flavors are fully developed.  Don’t be afraid to taste-test it — you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready.  Strain your liquid into a deep skillet and you can immediately begin poaching your fish fillets at about 180° until cooked through.  However, before you throw in the fish, reserve 1/2 cup of the court bouillon to make your roasted red pepper cream sauce.  Here are the ingredients for that:

  • 1/2 cup court bouillon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher Salt
  • White Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 small roasted red pepper, skinned, seeded and finely diced

In a small non-stick saucepan, reduce the court bouillon down to one ounce.  Add the heavy cream and season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in the red pepper and reduce the mixture until thick enough to coat a spoon.  Serve that over the poached cod and munch it down with a big happy grin on your face.  We had ours with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-pepper steamed broccoli.  A good time was had by all.  Until next time:  Eat well, my friends!

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