Garlic Roasted Cod with Mashed-Potato Crust

Bread crumbs, cornmeal, batters of all sorts--it's not surprising to find a crust on a fish, but this one's a bit unusual. Buttery, creamy mashed potatoes are spread on fillets, which are roasted and then broiled until the topping is a tempting golden brown.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, light cream, or milk
  • 2 pounds cod fillets, cut to make 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Preparation

  1. 1. Heat the oven to 450°. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan along with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the butter and cream.
  3. 3. Rub the cod with the oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put the cod in a large roasting pan, sprinkle the fillets with the garlic, and then spread with the mashed potatoes. Roast until the fish is nearly done, 8 to 10 minutes for 3/4-inch-thick fillets.
  4. 4. Heat the broiler. Broil the fish until the mashed potatoes have a golden brown crust, about 2 minutes.
  5. Fish Alternatives: Use other relatively thick, white-fleshed fillets in place of the cod. Good choices include grouper, haddock, orange roughy, red snapper, and turbot.
  6. Wine Recommendation: This comforting dish will find its ideal wine soul mate in just about any chardonnay. Try a bottle from California or a more refined version--a Rully, Montagny, or Mâcon-Villages,for example--from southern Burgundy in France.
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