COD WITH MASHED POTATOES

THIS RECIPE SHOULD PROPERLY BE CALLED "MASHED POTATOES WITH COD" BECAUSE THESE ARE NOT THE MASHED POTATOES YOUR MOM MADE.  MAYBE JOËL ROBUCHON'S MOM MADE THEM FOR LITTLE JOËL.  WHATEVER ITS ORIGINS, THIS DISH BECAME ONE OF ROBUCHON'S ICONIC CREATIONS, BECAUSE LIKE SO MUCH OF HIS COOKING, THE INGREDIENTS ARE HUMBLE - POTATOES, MILK AND BUTTER.  IT IS, HOWEVER, THE PROPORTION OF BUTTER TO POTATOES WHICH ELEVATES THIS LOWLY SPUD TO ETHERIAL HEIGHTS.  THE TECHNIQUE IS THE SAME AS FOR A BUERRE BLANC, BEATING BITS OF BUTTER INTO THE POTATOES JUST BEFORE SERVING.  NEEDLESS TO SAY, THESE POTATOES GO WELL WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING, BUT IF YOU HAVE HIGH CHOLESTEROL, STOP READING.      

ROBUCHON'S MASHED POTATOES
 2 lbs YUKON GOLD OR YELLOW FIN POTATOES
 2 cups WHOLE MILK
 2 STICKS OF BUTTER
COD
 4 PIECES OF COD, ABOUT 1/3 LB EACH
 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
 FRESH CHIVES

1

MASHED POTATOES

BOIL THE POTATOES IN SALTED WATER UNTIL EASILY PIERCED WITH A SHARP KNIFE.

CUT THE BUTTER INTO THUMBNAIL-SIZED BITS AND PLACE ON A PLATE.

WHEN THE POTATOES ARE COOL ENOUGH TO HANDLE, REMOVE THE SKIN WITH YOUR FINGERS.

CUT UP ROUGHLY AND PASS POTATOES THROUGH A RICER OR THE FINE DISC ON A MOULI SET OVER THE SAUCEPAN YOU BOILED THEM IN.

RINSE OUT ANOTHER SAUCEPAN BUT DO NOT DRY. ADD THE MILK AND BRING TO A BOIL.

TURN THE HEAT UNDER THE POTATOES TO LOW AND BEAT IN THE BUTTER BIT BY BIT WITH A WOODEN SPOON.

WHEN ALL THE BUTTER IS INCORPORATED, ADD THE HOT MILK AND CONTINUE TO COOK AND STIR UNTIL YOU ACHIEVE THE TEXTURE OF CREAM OF WHEAT.

SPOON POTATO PURÉE INTO A BOWL OR DISTRIBUTE ONTO FOUR SEPARATE DINNER PLATES.

SERVES 4

COD
2

HEAT A FRYING PAN LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE THE COD FILLETS WITHOUT CROWDING.

DRY THE FISH THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER.

POUR ABOUT 3 TBSPS OF GRAPESEED OR CANOLA OIL IN THE PAN.

WHEN IT'S VERY HOT, LAY THE COD FILLETS IN THE PAN SKIN-SIDE DOWN. SHAKE THE PAN TO MAKE SURE THE FISH DOES NOT STICK.

COOK 3 TO 4 MINUTES DEPENDING ON THE THICKNESS. ADD SEVERAL THYME SPRIGS AND 3 TBSPS OF BUTTER.

LOWER THE HEAT AND BASTE FISH WITH THE BUTTER.

COVER THE PAN AND CONTINUE TO COOK AND BASTE UNTIL A SHARP KNIFE INSERTED IN THE CENTER OF THE FILLET FEELS WARM WHEN TOUCHED TO YOUR BOTTOM LIP.

ARRANGE THE FILLETS ON TOP OF THE POTATOES ON EACH PLATE. SCATTER WITH CHOPPED CHIVES.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

ROBUCHON'S MASHED POTATOES
 2 lbs YUKON GOLD OR YELLOW FIN POTATOES
 2 cups WHOLE MILK
 2 STICKS OF BUTTER
COD
 4 PIECES OF COD, ABOUT 1/3 LB EACH
 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME
 FRESH CHIVES

Directions

1

MASHED POTATOES

BOIL THE POTATOES IN SALTED WATER UNTIL EASILY PIERCED WITH A SHARP KNIFE.

CUT THE BUTTER INTO THUMBNAIL-SIZED BITS AND PLACE ON A PLATE.

WHEN THE POTATOES ARE COOL ENOUGH TO HANDLE, REMOVE THE SKIN WITH YOUR FINGERS.

CUT UP ROUGHLY AND PASS POTATOES THROUGH A RICER OR THE FINE DISC ON A MOULI SET OVER THE SAUCEPAN YOU BOILED THEM IN.

RINSE OUT ANOTHER SAUCEPAN BUT DO NOT DRY. ADD THE MILK AND BRING TO A BOIL.

TURN THE HEAT UNDER THE POTATOES TO LOW AND BEAT IN THE BUTTER BIT BY BIT WITH A WOODEN SPOON.

WHEN ALL THE BUTTER IS INCORPORATED, ADD THE HOT MILK AND CONTINUE TO COOK AND STIR UNTIL YOU ACHIEVE THE TEXTURE OF CREAM OF WHEAT.

SPOON POTATO PURÉE INTO A BOWL OR DISTRIBUTE ONTO FOUR SEPARATE DINNER PLATES.

SERVES 4

COD
2

HEAT A FRYING PAN LARGE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE THE COD FILLETS WITHOUT CROWDING.

DRY THE FISH THOROUGHLY WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER.

POUR ABOUT 3 TBSPS OF GRAPESEED OR CANOLA OIL IN THE PAN.

WHEN IT'S VERY HOT, LAY THE COD FILLETS IN THE PAN SKIN-SIDE DOWN. SHAKE THE PAN TO MAKE SURE THE FISH DOES NOT STICK.

COOK 3 TO 4 MINUTES DEPENDING ON THE THICKNESS. ADD SEVERAL THYME SPRIGS AND 3 TBSPS OF BUTTER.

LOWER THE HEAT AND BASTE FISH WITH THE BUTTER.

COVER THE PAN AND CONTINUE TO COOK AND BASTE UNTIL A SHARP KNIFE INSERTED IN THE CENTER OF THE FILLET FEELS WARM WHEN TOUCHED TO YOUR BOTTOM LIP.

ARRANGE THE FILLETS ON TOP OF THE POTATOES ON EACH PLATE. SCATTER WITH CHOPPED CHIVES.

SERVES 4

COD WITH MASHED POTATOES
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