Ling Cod with Crispy Herb-Mustard Topping, Fresh Tomato, Green Beans and a Tarragon Beurre Blanc
4 six-ounce ling cod fillets, bones removed
2 tbsp. good quality cooking oil, (not olive oil)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup butter, softened
4 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. minced scallion, (the white part only)
½ cup chicken stock
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 stick cold butter, cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped
One large fresh tomato, cored and cut into small dice
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into ½-inch pieces and blanched till tender
fresh chopped parsley and chives, for garnish
STEP 1:Begin fish preparation: Preheat your oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet pan with foil, then place a baking rack (one like a grid) over the foil, set aside. Place fish fillets on another sheet pan covered with paper towels so that fish is as dry as possible. Allow fish to sit on paper towels a few minutes while sauce and topping are prepared.
STEP 2:Make topping: Use a large fork to mix together the butter, mustard, lemon juice and zest with the Panko bread crumbs, scallions and herbs in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well: mixture should just hold together, similar to the topping for a fruit crisp. Set topping aside while sauce is prepared.
STEP 3:Make sauce: Heat the wine, scallions, stock, one tablespoon of the fresh tarragon and lemon zest over a medium-low flame until it simmers. Allow it to reduce by half, stirring occasionally. Next, reduce flame to lowest setting, add the lemon juice and then the cold butter, whisking it in very slowly. Turn flame off just before the last of the butter has melted in. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
STEP 4:Prepare fish: Heat the oil in a large, non-stick sauté pan over high heat. Place the fish into the sauté pan and cook approximately two minutes, or long enough for the bottom of each piece to be nicely browned. Next, place each piece of fish onto the baking rack, spaced well apart. Now take small amounts of the topping and carefully pat it onto each piece of fish so that the top of each piece is covered completely with about ¼ inch of the topping. Place the fish into preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until topping is nicely browned and fish is cooked through.
STEP 5:Serve fish: Place serving bowls into hot oven for a minute or two so they get thoroughly heated. Next, toss together the green beans and tomatoes then distribute them evenly in the bottom of each serving bowl. Quickly but gently (lest it “break”) reheat the beurre blanc and add the rest of the fresh tarragon. Pour large spoonfuls of the sauce over the vegetables in each of the serving bowls. Now place a piece of the cooked ling cod over the vegetables in each bowl, garnish with additional fresh herbs, and serve immediately. Serves 4.