John Pleshette’s Chatham Cod With Sorrel Sauce

Written by

In the 1970s, the Troisgros brothers made famous a dish called saumon a l’oseille, a pan-cooked fillet of salmon with beurre blanc and sorrel.  Today, actor and foodie John Pleshette shares his take on the classic in his weekly recipe for Good Food:

Chatham Cod with Sorrel Sauce

Chatham Cod with Sorrel Sauce

2 lbs of cod fillets
3 lbs of mussels
4 cloves of garlic
1 large leek
½ cup of white wine
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 cup of crème fraiche
1 bunch of sorrel

Trim and slice the leek lengthwise. Wash under running water. Drain and cut into ½ inch pieces.

Peel garlic and slice thinly.

Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil and 2 tbps of butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and leeks. Cook on a medium flame, stirring until you can smell the garlic and the leeks are translucent.

Dump in the mussels, the wine, salt and pepper. And thyme. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mussels open.

Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Strain the liquid into a bowl. Rinse out the sauce pan and pour in the liquid. Reduce over medium heat for 8 minutes or until the liquid is down to a cup. Add the crème fraiche and bring to a low boil. Correct seasoning and set aside.

Strip out the stems from the sorrel leaves. Stack them like cards. Gently roll them up and slice into julienne strips with a very sharp knife.

Dry the fish thoroughly on paper towels. Heat a large frying pan on top of the stove. Add 2 tbsps of canola or grapeseed oil and 2 tbsps of butter.

Salt and pepper the cod and when the butter stops foaming, lay the fillets in the pan. Don’t crowd. You may have to cook them in two batches.

Saute cod about 3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. Place on a warm serving platter.

Meanwhile, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce by about a third. Add the sorrel, reserving a few leaves for garnish. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the mussels. Off the heat stir in 2 tbsps of softened butter.

Arrange the mussels around the fish. Top with some of the sauce and serve the remainder on the side. Garnish with a sprinkling of sorrel.

Serves 4-5

CellarWise Wine Pairing by Bruce Cole

You’re looking for whites that balance round, green-spectrum fruit with steely acidity a wine that finishes clean but has sufficient weight.  The viscous raw almond and green papaya ’08 Bagio del Sole Inzolia Classico Sicily (Italy, $10) is such a wine, as is the lime and green pea ’09 Casas del Bosque Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Reserva (Chile, $10) and the green plantain and citrusy pineapple ’08 Hay Shed Hill Chardonnay Margaret River (Aussie, $20).  For a different sort of match, try the ’08 Clemens Busch Riesling Kabinet Mosel Trocken (Germany, $20).  Its pristine slate, pear, and chive/fennel notes are perfect with mussels, cod and cream.  Enjoy.