|Crispy Black Cod Fillets with Fennel Tzatziki and Lemony Orzo Risotto|
The peak season to purchase and prepare fresh black cod is NOW! The season is generally in the early Spring, beginning in March. Spring has truly arrived when we find this buttery fish at the market. Black cod is a moist and delicate fish that contains high amounts of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids containing nearly as much omega 3 as salmon. You can steam it, pan roast it until it’s crispy, sous vide it or do with it whatever you like. It has a high fat content, and is almost fool-proof, because even if you overcook it, it has such a high fat content it won’t dry out. Perfect for those fish-phobes out there! Perhaps the most surprising tip is about the black cod’s heart, which is not a heart at all but is a muscle hidden within the ear (not the cheek), with the consistency of a scallop. A delicacy I would love to try some day. I wonder if my fishmonger would have them?
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
**Crispy Black Cod Fillets with Fennel Tzatziki and Lemony Orzo Risotto**
Recipes from the More Than Burnt Toast Kitchen
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) cod (sablefish) or halibut fillets
1 large egg white, beaten until frothy
2 cups (about) panko (japanese breadcrumbs) or fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons of olive oil for frying
Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed fennel seeds, freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large zip-top plastic bag; add fish. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Remove fish from bag; discard marinade.
Brush with egg white; coat with panko or breadcrumbs. Turn over; repeat with seasoning, egg, and panko.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish. Cook until opaque in centre, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with tzatziki drizzled with olive oil.
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
½ cup finely grated fennel
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Splash of ouzo ( a tasty addition at the suggestion of Peter of Kalofagas) or 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil
Spoon the yogurt into a fine mesh strainer lined with several layers of heavy-duty paper towels or cheesecloth and drain over a bowl for 15 to 20 minutes. In a separate small bowl add shredded fennel and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow to sit.
Discard liquid from yogurt bowl and scrape the yogurt into another bowl using a rubber spatula. Using your hands, squeeze fennel to extract as much liquid as possible. Add fennel and remaining ingredients to yogurt and stir well.
Makes 1 cup
**Lemony Orzo Risotto**
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/1/2 cup butter) butter
3/4 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon, plus1tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 cup frozen peas
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Add orzo; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in 6 cups boiling water and salt. Simmer uncovered about 9 minutes. Add peas and juice of 1 lemon. Continue cooking until orzo is tender, liquid is absorbed, and risotto is creamy, stirring often, about another 9 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in lemon zest and parsley.
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