or, A Case of Mistaken Identity
If you saw my last post, Farro and Tomato Salad with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, you know what a gorgeous and delicious salad that was. So lovely and flavored with fresh seasonal vegetables. So what would our main course be?
Turns out, we only had to turn a couple of pages. The August Bon Appetit, which featured the salad we made, also contained a recipe for Slow-Roasted Black Cod with Red Chermoula. Chermoula is an herbaceous, earthy flavored sauce often used on fish in Algerian, Tunisian or Moroccan cooking. It can also be used on vegetables or other meats. Oh, yeah, bring it on! That is right up our alley.
Our recipe called for “black cod”. When we saw the price of this lovely fish at the grocery ($24.99 per lb), we thought, “what could we substitute?” For only $9.99 per lb, and looking oh so similar to the black cod, was “true cod”. Seemed reasonable. But was it?
Turns out, the answer to this question is that we would have been better off with salmon. (We are big salmon eaters here in the Northwest.) The Black Cod is a local fish also known as the Sablefish, a delicate, fatty, buttery-flavored fish, loaded with Omega-3s. It is NOT similar to the True Cod, except for the fact it is a fish. It is delicious. I had not been aware that Sablefish and Black Cod were the same fish.?
This is not to say our dish was anything but delicious. But I would venture to say it would have been better with a fattier fish, like salmon, if we did not want the Black Cod (Sablefish). The fattiness would have allowed the Chermoula to marinate the fish a little better in the short time we gave it. And that Chermoula when paired with a succulent, buttery fish, WOW!
This recipe is very easy to make. We grilled the fish over indirect heat, which means we put it on the grill, closed the lid, then opened it 20 minutes later to a moist fish with an exotic sauce that complimented but did not overpower the fish or our salad.
This recipe is definitely a keeper! (Next time I will use Sablefish)
Slow-Roasted Cod with Red Chermoula
(adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2015, p. 65)
2 lb Black Cod, Sablefish or salmon fillet
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated, stems finely chopped
1 Fresno chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c olive oil
1 T tomato paste
1 t paprika
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t honey
1/4 t allspice
1 T red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Prepare grill for indirect heat. The grill temperature should be 300-325F. Or preheat oven to 300F.
Make the Chermoula. Whisk together cilantro stems, chile, olive oil, tomato paste, paprika, red pepper flakes, honey, allspice and red wine vinegar. Set aside 3 T for serving.
Place fish fillets on foil (or shallow baking dish). Season with salt and pepper. Spread remaining Chermoula across the fish fillets. You can let it marinate 30-60 minutes, or move the foil to the grill. Roast over indirect heat 20-30 minutes. (Ours took 20 mins)
Serve with remaining Chermoula and cilantro leaves. Enjoy!