Poaching in oil may sound like it would produce oil-soaked fish, but it actually seals in the juices and results in tender, moist fillets. It is a good cooking technique for firmer fish such as cod, sword-fish, or salmon. The key is for the oil to be warm, but not hot. Keep the thermometer in the oil as the fish is cooking, and adjust the heat to maintain a temperature of 110°F (43°C) to 115°F (46°C). If you cannot find broccoli rabe, you may substitute one small head of broccoli.–Charlie Trotter
Olive Oil-Poached Cod
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Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds and then peel off the skins. Cut each tomato into 8 wedges, place in a small roasting pan, and toss lightly with the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and thyme. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft.
Remove the tomatoes from the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Cook the broccoli rabe in the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Warm the 2 cups olive oil in a medium saucepan over a very low flame to 110°F (43°C). Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper and place in the warm oil. The oil should cover the fish. Cook for 3 minutes, turn the fish over, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until just done.
Place some of the roasted tomatoes in the center of each plate and top with a piece of fish. Arrange the broccoli rabe around the plate and drizzle the tomato cooking liquid and the 1 tablespoon olive oil over the fish and around the plate. Garnish with tiny green and purple basil.
Olive Oil-Poached Cod Recipe © 2008 Charlie Trotter. Photo © 2008 Kipling Swehla. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.