Pan-Seared Cod, Braised Fennel, Garlic Cream
This charming rustic cod dish is not meant to be fancy. Caramelized wedges of fennel and onion are simply bathed in a warm garlic cream. Wild Alaska Pacific Cod fillets, with their slightly sweet mild clean taste and lean flaky texture, are pan-seared to develop a light golden-brown crust on the outside while keeping the interior moist and tender.
The rustic approach embodies simplicity. It centers on the use of affordable ingredients and easy preparation techniques that elevate and showcase their basic humble quality.
The golden fillets rest upon the creamy braised vegetables. Scattered with rough-chopped herbs and lemon zest, this is a delightful, delicious dish that’s quick and unfussy yet astonishingly complex in flavor.
Rustic Cod Recipe
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In Memory Of Chef Michael Chiarello
January 26, 1962 – October 6, 2023
Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad
His love for the Napa Valley is a central theme in his career and philosophy. Michael Chiarrello’s style of cooking married the rich traditions of his Italian culinary heritage with the casual style and fresh flavors of the wine country.
The Chef was renowned for letting good ingredients speak for themselves, cooking in sync with the seasons, and celebrating whatever the market brought. Upon hearing the news of his passing, I wanted to honor his memory by preparing one of his recipes.
Chef Michael Chiarello sadly lost his life due to an acute allergic reaction that ultimately resulted in anaphylactic shock. He was 61 years old when he passed away earlier this month in Napa, California.
🧡 🧡 🧡
About this recipe the Chef wrote, “I discovered this dish on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, an area famous for lemons and wild fennel. The salmon is a sort of ceviche, cooked in lemon juice with olive oil…”
Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad
This is my adaptation of the Chef’s recipe from my signed copy of his cookbook, “Casual Cooking, Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends.” His restaurant Tra Vigne in St. Helena, Napa Valley was one of my early favorites.
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with Fennel Seeds and Gin
A sushi-quality sockeye salmon fillet is rubbed with a mixture of salt, sugar, black pepper, and toasted fennel seeds. It is tightly bundled in a puree of blackberry and gin then refrigerated for at least 24 hours. The result is something a little different than the traditional gravlax with dill.
Last month we thoroughly enjoyed a Salmon Crudo with Blackberry Ponzu. It turns out the Pacific Northwest chefs’ secret is the marriage of salmon and blackberries. Now we know too.
The blackberry-gin mixture brings an interesting herbal fruitiness while fennel adds subtle anise notes. The exterior of the salmon is tinged a neat purple color. This was a fun project and a refreshing modern alternative to old world Nordic-style gravlax.
We plated our blackberry-cured gravlax with fresh blackberries, tomato, red onion, and lemon. Everything bagels, capers, and cream cheese were served on the side. Delightful and different!
Blackberry-Cured Gravlax Recipe
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An Easy Creamy Cod Soup for Spring
It’s a fish soup that is creamy but not overly rich nor fishy, and chock-full of vegetables …asparagus, peas, and fennel. Fresh dill and lemon add herby and bright citrusy notes respectively. Wild Alaska Pacific Cod is a wonderful fish for light soups and stews as it is slightly sweet and has a mild clean taste with a lean flaky texture.
♥ Extending a heartfelt thank you to the small-boat Alaskan fishermen aboard F/V Fortune who responsibly harvested the pristine fish used in this recipe.
Easy Creamy Cod Soup Recipe
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Chilled Soup Bliss
Beet, Fennel, Kefir, Sour Cream
Horseradish, Lemon, Garlic, Dijon Mustard
You can chug this chilled soup from a tumbler and be in heaven, but ladle it into cold shallow bowls and garnish with some fantastic accompaniments, and it will be one of the most extraordinary hot weather soups you’ll serve this summer.
It is garnished with a dizzying array of chopped hard boiled egg, a kefir drizzle, radish, sliced pickles, lemon, chives, and fennel fronds.
The best part is the mind-blowing complex flavors with tangy notes from the kefir, earthiness from beets, hints of anise from fennel, a pungent kick from the Dijon mustard and a peppery kick from the horseradish.
The second best part is how easy it is to make. Combine the soup ingredients in a blender until smooth, chill until nice and cold – and there you have a perfect summer soup… simple and easy enough to enjoy for lunch today or with jazzy garnishes that make it elegant enough to serve at your next al fresco dinner party.
This recipe was inspired by the famous Eastern European Cold Beet Soup called Holodnik. I add fennel, Dijon mustard, garlic, and prepared horseradish to the traditional ingredients for a more spicy and complex flavor profile. Chopped bread & butter pickles replace the usual cucumber to add sweet and sour elements.
Chilled Beet, Fennel, Kefir Soup Recipe
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