Friday, February 22, 2008

East Meets Gulf - Codfish Courtbouillon

As most of my loyal blog readers know, I'm from Louisiana and Hubby is from Massachusetts. I do my best to whip up dishes that appeal to both our culinary sensabilities, as varied as they are. This codfish courtbouillon (coo-bee-yahn) is my riff on catfish courtbouillon and is an East Coast meets Gulf Coast dish. I subbed the cod for catfish and added potato for chowder-like heartiness. (There are no potatoes in the traditional Cajun dish.)

Codfish Courtbouillon

1 lb Pacific cod (Atlantic cod is overfished)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small onions, chopped
1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp flour
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup vermouth
12 oz fish stock, shrimp stock or clam juice
1 C fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 C canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
4 - 6 drops Angostura bitters
2 tsp fresh oregano
2 tsp fresh thyme, de-stemmed
1 tbsp green onions, chopped**
Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco or Louisiana Gold hot sauce
1 large russet potato, small dice

1) Pat the fish dry and cut into 1 inch pieces. Season with sea salt and pepper.
2) Saute' onions, garlic, bell pepper, celery, and 1 tbsp of the parsley in the olive oil. Season the mixture lightly with Creole seasoning and cook until aromatic (about 3 - 5 minutes).
3) Add the tomato paste, stir, and saute' for 2 minutes.
4) Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir well until blended. Cook for 1 minute.
5) Add the vermouth, stock, fresh and canned tomatoes, bay leaf, hot sauce, and bitters.
6) Bring to a boil and add potatoes. Boil for five minutes.
7) Add the cod, thyme, oregano, green onions, and 1 tbsp parsley. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked and potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt, black pepper, Creole seasoning, and hot sauce.
8) Garnish with remaining parsley.

Serve over white rice or with chunks of crusty French bread. Add some cold beer or dry white wine to wash it down.

** I was out of green onions, but do use them if you have them.

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