Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poaching Cod and Asparagus

I had been thinking about poaching fish as a quick and easy preparation of our weekly offerings from SLO Veg and SLO Fresh Catch, so when I discovered that some asparagus would be included in this week's tote, I had just the recipe lined up. I found it on, a website that has become my favorite go-to recipe resource online. Poached Cod and Asparagus was perfect! The hard part is making the beurre blanc, and technique-wise, I failed. Thing is, I don't think the boys knew that, so definately, what they don't know won't hurt them!

First things first, though. I still had cauliflower from last week that needed to be cooked, so I broke it down into florets, gave it a dousing of olive oil and put it into a 375 Degree oven. Then I started on the beurre blanc sauce. I used the Hearst Ranch Chardonnay, because that's all we had. I mean, it was perfect, but seriously I'd rather drink it than cook with it. I was just in too much of a hurry to get done and relax tonight. I wanted to sit down and enjoy American Idol!

So I put my slaves to work for their food. I gave Lee a basket of kiwi, which was actually last week's fruit. We got more this week. I am going to have to start making smoothies with them. Anyway, Lee figured out an inventive method for peeling the kiwi--he cut off each end, then slipped a spoon between the skin and twisted it around in a circle. A perfectly peeled kiwi popped out! Taylor's task was to wash and quarter the strawberries. He was drooling over them, so I told him to eat one if he had to...we got two baskets! Lee added a quartered orange and a fruit salad was born. All the dressing it required was a little dash of lime and some honey. Now our fish and cauliflower wouldn't look so pale all alone!

The recipe below from Eating Well details the steps. I think I used too much cornstarch because I had to thin it down with water (I wasn't about to use more wine--that went into my glass). I put the butter in before I strained it, also--dumb! Oh well, i 'll do better next time when I am not so rushed. The aspapragus and fish was easy. I basically layed it in the pan, put a lid on it and forgot about it for 5 or 6 minutes.

I missed the opening of American Idol, but we DVR'd it so no problem. I got to eat some delicious food and have a stellar wine, so no complaints here. Bon appetit!


Poached Cod & Asparagus
In this recipe,we poach the cod right on top of the asparagus. The result is perfectly cooked cod and tender-crisp asparagus. The sauce is our take on beurre blanc—a traditional French sauce made with wine and lots of butter. Ours uses a little cornstarch for thickening and a judicious amount of butter for flavor.
From EatingWell: March/April 2011 Yield: 4 servings Active Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Ingredients
1 lemon,divided 1 cup dry white wine 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallot 1 bay leaf 5 whole black peppercorns 1 1/4 pounds cod (see Tip),cut into 4 equal portions 1/2 teaspoon salt,divided 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper 4 sprigs fresh tarragon 1 1/2 bunches asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds),trimmed 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons butter
1. Juice half the lemon into a small saucepan; reserve the other half. Whisk in wine and cornstarch until combined. Add shallot,bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook,stirring occasionally,until thickened and reduced by about half,10 to 12 minutes. 2. Meanwhile,sprinkle cod with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place a tarragon sprig on each portion. Thinly slice the remaining lemon half and lay the slices over the tarragon. 3. Place asparagus in an even layer in a large skillet. Add 1/2 cup water. Place the cod on top of the asparagus. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender and the fish is cooked through,4 to 5 minutes. 4. Strain the reduced sauce through a sieve into a bowl. Return it to the pan. Over low heat,swirl butter into the sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat. 5. Serve the fish and asparagus topped with the sauce.

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