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Summer-to-Fall Herb-Crusted Black Cod, with Vegetable Antipasto, Bell Pepper Béchamel Sauce and Tomato Ragout

Summer-to-Fall Herb-Crusted Black Cod, with Vegetable Antipasto, Bell Pepper Béchamel Sauce and Tomato Ragout

Recipe by Epicurean Group Executive Chef Anthony Kresge, Arcade Café

YIELD: 4 servings

8 ounces each, green beans, fennel, seasonal squash, baby carrots, red bell pepper
2 cups extra virgin olive oil, divided
32 oz. San Marzano or other good organic tomatoes
1 cup Pinot or Burgundy red wine
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsps. butter
2 Tbsps .flour
1 cup warmed milk
4 black cod or halibut filets, 6-8 oz. each
1 cup Herbes de Provence
Juice of 1 lemon
A pinch of salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Trim green beans; core and thinly slice fennel; peel, seed and thinly slice squash; and de-stem and wash baby carrots.
2. Coat bell pepper in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until the skin is charred and bubbly. Remove pepper and turn the oven down to 140° F.  Immediately place bell pepper inside a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; steam for 10 minutes. Working in the same bowl, peel skin from bell pepper and remove the core and seeds, preserving the juices from roasting. Slice the bell pepper and place next to other ingredients.
3. For the Tomato Ragout: Place tomatoes, red wine, shallot, garlic and chicken stock into a small pot over medium-low heat. Reduce (cooking off most of the moisture) for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly to keep from burning.
4. For the Bell Pepper Bêchamel: In another pot, melt butter and add the flour to make a roux. In a separate pan, heat milk until just before a boil. Slowly add heated milk to roux and whisk together until sauce becomes thickened and creamy. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the consistency is correct. Strain the bell pepper juices into the prepared sauce, add salt and pepper to season, and cover to keep sauce warm.
5. For the Vegetable Antipasto: In a large sauté pan or roasting pan medium-high heat, drizzle a little oil into a pan and add vegetable mix. Tossing every couple of minutes, cook vegetables al dente. Remove firm vegetables and place in an oven-proof dish in the oven to keep warm.
6. For the Fish: Lightly coat fish in olive oil, then in herbs. Place in the same sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Cook on one side for 4 minutes or until golden brown, cooking the fish to 80 percent done, then turn over. Turn off stove, letting the heat from the pan cook the rest of the fish, which will ensure it remains moist.
7. To Serve: Season cooked tomato ragout to taste. To assemble the dish, place a spoonful of roasted bell pepper béchamel on plate. Season roasted vegetables with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and place over béchamel. Place the crusted fish leaning up against the vegetables. Gently spoon the tomato ragout over the corner of crusted seafood. Drizzle each dish with the remaining olive oil and lemon. Serve immediately.

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