Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a big fan of fish (especially when there is skin on it). So when I post a fish recipe, it's gotta be good and have broad appeal. I'd say this one has "broad appeal". Yesterday I went to Corrado's in Clifton and picked up a big cod filet. It was about a pound and a quarter and enough to feed me for 2 nights (or 2 people for 1 night). I thought I would make one dish on Tuesday night and a different one on Wednesday night. First of all I have never made cod at home so this was to be an adventure. My choice was Cod with Lime Sauce, which is what I made the first night. On the second night I kicked it up a bit and added some finely chopped chili peppers.
So where does the champagne come in? Well the recipe calls for dry white wine but on Sunday night I stopped into a wine store in The Village and they were having a big sale on Freixenet Spanish Cava. Cava, sparkling wine, champagne or spumante, its all good. Hell if you want to use a white wine that's good too, but doesn't a champagne sound more elegant?
This was "New Jersey" night for me because I also ate this meal with some fresh Jersey tomatoes (best in the eat!) and fresh grown Jersey green beans and a glass of Alba red wine which is made in New Jersey. OK, red wine with fish, I know that breaks the rule.
Here is my recipe;
Chili-Lime Champagne Cod
- 1 1/4 lb cod filets (or you can use mahi mahi, sea bass or snapper)
- Zest from 1 lime (remove it from the lime with a fine grater)
- 1/4 of a very finely chopped green chili (seeded)
- 1/3 cup of champagne bubbly or white wine
- Juice of 1 lime (if you like a strong lime flavor, use 1 1/2 lime)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- about 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- Olive Oil
In a non metal reactive bowl (use ceramic) mix together the lime zest, champagne or wine, lime juice and garlic. Mix together and add the fish and marinate for 30 minutes.
After marinating, remove the fish from the bowl and shake off all the garlic and other bits.
Strain the marinade into a bowl through a fine strainer to remove the garlic, chili bits and lime zest. If you don't have a strainer, pick out as much of the bigger stuff as you can.
Put the juice in a pan and reduce on the stove top until you have about 3 tablespoons. If you want a hotter taste, add some very finely chopped green chili bits to the lime juice as you reduce. Be careful they are really spicy. I would use no more than 1/4 of the chili.
In the meantime...
Warm a non-stick skillet (I always use cast iron) and add a coating splash of olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the fish filets and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes turn and cook another 3-4 minutes until cooked through and opaque. If the fish finishes before the rest of the food, put it on a plate and stick it into a warm oven. Be really careful not to overcook.
One the fish is near cooked, add about 3 tbsp butter to the reduced lime juice and stir in until it get a bit thick.
Plate the fish on individual plates and spoon some of the lime sauce over the filets.
Serve with buttered green beans seasoned with sea salt (use unsalted butter).
The perfect beverage to serve with this meal is the same champagne you use in the marinade or sparkling mineral water with a wedge of lime.
I also ate some sliced tomatoes that I simply drizzled with fine Italian extra virgin olive oil sea salt and parsley. I don't know if I loved the parsley but you can also use basil, pepper or even a drizzle of balsamic vinegar along with the sea salt. I like to use chunky crystal or flaked sea salt because you get those little "bites" of salt. I don't think its as good with standard table salt.
Has anyone noticed that I eat a lot of green beans?