Thursday, August 21, 2014

Miso Brown Butter Cod en Papillote with Citrus and Haricot Verts

The inspiration for this dish came from a misunderstanding. Some time ago I attended a going away dinner at a Japanese Barbecue (yakiniku) restaurant. I had never tried yakiniku, although I've had the very similar Korean Barbecue many times. Late into the dinner came a number of foil wrapped packets. After cooking them over the coals for a few minutes, the packets were torn open to reveal flaky white-fleshed fish in a heavenly smelling burgandy colored sauce. The sauce was slightly sweet, sharply salty; it was wonderfully umami. I had to know what it was. Miso butter fish, was the reply I thought I heard in the crowded, popular restaurant and it set me to dreaming about mixing brown butter and miso to create my own version. As it turned out I misheard the name of the dish: it was actually miso and butterfish, a type of fish I'd never heard of.

Still, the combination got my creative juices flowing, and I decided to try the combination as part of a sauce for an en papillote (in a parchment envelope) preparation. Typically en papillote includes a vibrant green vegetable, and haricot verts immediately sprung to mind, as did grapefruit to complete the flavor profile. I added some mirin caramelized shallots and black pepper and I had a really delicious sauce. I served this with some miso mashed potatoes and it was delicious. And it was pretty easy to prepare. The filets are pictured with several slices of grapefruit, however to get the best flavor I recommend one.

Miso Brown Butter Cod en Papillote with Red Grapefruit and Haricot Verts

Serves 2

1 shallot, diced
2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
1/4 Teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons red or yellow miso
Juice of 1/2 red grapefruit
2 large slices red grapefruit
3 ounces haricot vert, cleaned and trimmed
2 filet of cod, each weighing about 5 - 6 ounces
Black Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375, then make the sauce: melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Allow to darken slightly, then add shallots and sesame oil. Sautee over medium heat until shallots are caramelized. Add mirin to pan to deglaze and add pepper. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes more, then remove pan from heat. Add grapefruit juice, miso, 1/4 cup water and stir to dissolve miso. Set sauce aside.

2. Cut a large piece of parchment and lay cod in the center ladle sauce over fish to cover. Top fish with a single layer of green beans, then ladle a little more sauce over. Top with 1 slice ruby grapefruit.

3. Fold into an envelope: Hold the parchment on either side of the filet (it should lay in the center of the square of parchment) and join them together over top of the filet. Fold edges down toward fish approximately 1/2" and repeat 3 or so times to seal top of packet. Next, fold over the corners above the filet on either side to seal above the filet of fish and do the same to the corners below. As this is a difficult process to describe, I recommend looking up how to fold en papillote on youtube and looking at my photo for reference.

4. Bake for about 12 minutes, then plate up, crack open and enjoy. Serve with rice or starch of choice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I welcome your feedback!

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