Made with white wine, vegetables, and aromatic herbs, nage--a French-style poaching broth--preserves the delicate texture and moistness of fish. Nearly any fish will work in this recipe, but the broth's flavors especially complement mild, white-fleshed ones.
4 white-fleshed fish fillets (6 oz. each), such as cod, red snapper, or halibut
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon whole green peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 tarragon sprigs plus 2 tbsp. minced fresh tarragon
Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups (1 pt.) cherry tomatoes, halved
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make It
Season fish with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook fish until browned underneath, about 3 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate, browned side up.
Add carrots to pan along with broth, wine, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf, and tarragon sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 8 to 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine lemon zest and minced tarragon and spread over browned side of fish. Slide fish, browned side up, and any accumulated juices into pan. Add tomatoes and simmer until fish is just cooked through, 2 to 6 minutes depending on its thickness.
Remove and discard bay leaf and tarragon sprigs. Divide fish among 4 wide, shallow bowls, then ladle vegetables and nage into bowls. Drizzle each bowl with 1/2 tsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. oil.
Used black cod (sablefish) and dredged the fish with 4 TB of flour with the salt and pepper to help thicken the sauce. Used brined green peppercorns that came in a small jar. Rinsed the peppercorns before adding. Needed a little longer for cooking the carrots, maybe cut a little too thick. Next time, will saute the carrots for a couple of minutes in a separate pan before adding. Used crusty French bread to sop up the sauce. Easy to do and yummy.
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