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Dan Goldberg Photo by: Dan Goldberg

Pan-Roasted Fish on Mushroom-Leek Ragout

Sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves over this deeply flavored dish. Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes.

Sunset MARCH 2006

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings
  • Total: 35 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bacon (2 oz.), chopped
  • 1 pound portabella mushroom caps, gills trimmed out, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 leeks (1 lb. total), white parts only, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 pieces (1 in. thick; 5 oz. each) boned, skinned tender, white-fleshed fish, such as sturgeon or black cod, rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation

1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, stir bacon often until browned and crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Add portabellas and stir often until golden brown, about 5 minutes; pour into a bowl. Add leeks, carrot, and celery to pan; reduce heat to medium and stir often until vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Return portabellas to pan and add chicken broth, wine, and thyme; simmer, stirring often, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°. In a spice or coffee grinder, grind dried mushrooms to a fine powder; pour into a wide, shallow bowl. Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper, then coat with the ground mushrooms.

4. Pour olive oil into another large, ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn pieces and transfer pan to oven. Bake just until fish is opaque in center of thickest part, about 8 minutes.

5. Divide mushroom-leek ragout among four plates. Top with fish.

Wine pairing: Earthy, smoky Pinot Noir with mushroom notes under dark berry flavors. Best in our pairing: Tandem Sangiacomo Vineyard 2002 (Sonoma Coast; $38), Foxen 2004 (Santa Maria Valley, CA; $28), WillaKenzie Pierre Léon Vineyard 2003 (Willamette Valley, Yamhill/Carlton, OR; $36), and Estancia Stonewall Vineyard 2003 (Santa Lucia Highlands, CA; $30).

Flavor bridges: Pinot Noir can be meaty without being heavy and tannic; tender, white-fleshed fish like sturgeon is also meaty but lean (as are portabella mushrooms). Smokiness in the wine plays off the bacon in the ragout, and mushroom flavors--well, Pinot is about the only wine that offers them flat out.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 349
  • Calories from fat: 49%
  • Protein: 29g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated fat: 5.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 15g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Sodium: 213mg
  • Cholesterol: 95mg
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