Pascal Aussignac’s Glazed Black Cod With A Verjuice Sauce

black cod

A sweet and sour sauce of modish verjuice, honey and elderflower complements delicately flavoured black cod in this elegant recipe from Pascal Aussignac

The chef’s signature crunchy grapes round off this glazed black cod recipe with aplomb.

For the black cod:
• 4 black cod fillets, 150g each, skinned
• sea salt
• black pepper, freshly ground
• olive oil

For the verjuice sauce:
• 200ml of verjuice
• 1 lemon, juiced
• 3 tbsp of honey
• 20g of elderflower syrup
• 1 small beetroot, grated

For the artichoke purée:
• 250g of Jerusalem artichoke, thinly peeled
• 1 lemon, for juice
• 200ml of double cream
• 2 tbsp of ground almonds
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• salt
• pepper

For the crunchy grapes:
200g of grapes, seedless
• 10g of pistachio nuts, shelled
• 20g of Rice Krispies
• 10g of black sesame seeds
• 10g of fennel seeds
• 10g of sunflower seeds
• 10g of wasabi peas
• 50g of sugar

Begin by preparing the black cod. Trim the fillets to neaten, check for any pin bones with your fingertips and pull out if necessary.
To prepare the verjuice sauce, boil the lemon juice with the honey and elderflower syrup for a minute, then add the verjuice and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add a small pinch of the grated beetroot. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl and set aside.
For the crunchy grapes, crush the pistachios, Rice Krispies, seeds and wasabi peas using a pestle and mortar until you are left with a fine powder.
Add the sugar to a frying pan and place over a medium heat. Once the sugar has melted, add the grapes to the pan, followed by the powder mix, then stir until the grapes are nicely coated.
Tip the grapes out onto a sheet of baking paper, making sure that they are well spread out and do not clump together. Leave to cool and crisp up
For the artichoke purée, cut the artichokes into evenly sized chunks and boil in lightly salted water with the lemon juice for 10-15 minutes until tender.
Drain and return the artichokes to the pan with the cream, ground almonds, olive oil and some seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Using the back of a ladle, rub the purée through a sieve into a heatproof bowl and keep warm.
Once ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
10 Rub the fillets in olive oil and add to a roasting pan, skin-side down.
11 Season, pour over the verjuice sauce and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, spooning over the sauce twice during cooking so that the fish is nicely glazed and the flesh feels firm when pressed
12 Reheat the artichoke purée and divide onto 4 warm plates. Top with the black cod fillets and garnish with the crunchy grapes. Drizzle the remaining sauce around each plate and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Pascal Aussignac for Great British Chefs. See here for more.

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