BLACK COD WITH TREVISO

YOU MAY HAVE EATEN BLACK COD GRILLED AND SWABBED WITH SWEET MISO AT SUSHI RESTAURANTS OR AT BARNEY GREENGRASS WHERE, IN IT'S SMOKED FORM, IS CALLED SABLE.  ITS SKIN IS BLACK (NATURALLY!) AND ITS TEXTURE SILKEN.  THE FLESH IS WHITE AND TASTES ALMOST SWEET.  SO WHAT COULD SET OFF THESE QUALITIES BETTER THAN TREVISO, THAT LONG-LEAVED RADICCHIO MOST OFTEN ENCOUNTERED IN SALADS?  HERE, IT IS BRAISED WITH GUANCIALE OR BACON, WHICH TEMPERS ITS BITE AND MAKES IT AN IDEAL ACCOMPANIMENT TO THE COD.  

 1 cup GUANCIALE OR BACON
 2 lbs BLACK COD
 4 HEADS OF TREVISO OR 1 MEDIUM RADICCHIO
 FRESH THYME
 1 LEMON

1

DICE THE GUANCIALE INTO 1/4-INCH PIECES.

IN A PAN LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE THE FISH BROWN THE GUANCIALE IN A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL OVER LOW HEAT.

MEANWHILE, SLICE THE TREVISO HEADS LENGTHWISE IN HALF. ADD TO THE PAN WITH THE BROWNED GUANCIALE. ADD A SMALL AMOUNT OF SALT AND A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF GROUND PEPPER.

COOK OVER MEDIUM HEAT TURNING FREQUENTLY WITH TONGS TILL THE TREVISO SOFTENS AND COLLAPSES. 6-8 MINUTES. REMOVE TO A WARMED SERVING PLATTER.

WIPE OUT THE PAN WITH PAPER TOWELS.

RETURN TO THE STOVE AND TURN THE HEAT TO MEDIUM-HIGH. HEAT PAN FOR ABOUT A MINUTE, THEN ADD 3 TBSPS OF GRAPE SEED OR PEANUT OIL.

DRY THE COD THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER SKIN SIDE.

LAY IN THE PAN SKIN SIDE DOWN AND SHAKE THE PAN TO MAKE SURE THE FISH DOESN'T STICK. CONTINUE SHAKING FOR A MINUTE, THEN REDUCE THE HEAT TO MEDIUM-LOW. COOK 2 MORE MINUTES.

ADD THE THYME SPRIGS AND 3 TBSPS OF BUTTER TO THE PAN. WHEN THE BUTTER IS MELTED BASTE THE FISH WITH THE BUTTER AND THYME.

COVER THE PAN FOR A MINUTE. UNCOVER AND CONTINUE TO BASTE TILL THE FISH IS DONE. DONENESS TEST: INSERT A SHARP KNIFE IN THE CENTER OF THE FILLET AND TOUCH IT TO YOUR BOTTOM LIP. IF IT FEELS WARM, THE FISH IS DONE.

ARRANGE THE COD ON THE BED OF TREVISO. GARNISH WITH LEMON WEDGES AND SERVE.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 1 cup GUANCIALE OR BACON
 2 lbs BLACK COD
 4 HEADS OF TREVISO OR 1 MEDIUM RADICCHIO
 FRESH THYME
 1 LEMON

Directions

1

DICE THE GUANCIALE INTO 1/4-INCH PIECES.

IN A PAN LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE THE FISH BROWN THE GUANCIALE IN A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL OVER LOW HEAT.

MEANWHILE, SLICE THE TREVISO HEADS LENGTHWISE IN HALF. ADD TO THE PAN WITH THE BROWNED GUANCIALE. ADD A SMALL AMOUNT OF SALT AND A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF GROUND PEPPER.

COOK OVER MEDIUM HEAT TURNING FREQUENTLY WITH TONGS TILL THE TREVISO SOFTENS AND COLLAPSES. 6-8 MINUTES. REMOVE TO A WARMED SERVING PLATTER.

WIPE OUT THE PAN WITH PAPER TOWELS.

RETURN TO THE STOVE AND TURN THE HEAT TO MEDIUM-HIGH. HEAT PAN FOR ABOUT A MINUTE, THEN ADD 3 TBSPS OF GRAPE SEED OR PEANUT OIL.

DRY THE COD THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER SKIN SIDE.

LAY IN THE PAN SKIN SIDE DOWN AND SHAKE THE PAN TO MAKE SURE THE FISH DOESN'T STICK. CONTINUE SHAKING FOR A MINUTE, THEN REDUCE THE HEAT TO MEDIUM-LOW. COOK 2 MORE MINUTES.

ADD THE THYME SPRIGS AND 3 TBSPS OF BUTTER TO THE PAN. WHEN THE BUTTER IS MELTED BASTE THE FISH WITH THE BUTTER AND THYME.

COVER THE PAN FOR A MINUTE. UNCOVER AND CONTINUE TO BASTE TILL THE FISH IS DONE. DONENESS TEST: INSERT A SHARP KNIFE IN THE CENTER OF THE FILLET AND TOUCH IT TO YOUR BOTTOM LIP. IF IT FEELS WARM, THE FISH IS DONE.

ARRANGE THE COD ON THE BED OF TREVISO. GARNISH WITH LEMON WEDGES AND SERVE.

SERVES 4

BLACK COD WITH TREVISO
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