This dish is the result of an unexpected collaboration between two chefs who never met, David Everitt-Matthias and my sous chef Keith Schneider. The flavors and scents spoke of Provence; freshly salted cod, wisps of the citrus, chickpeas and roasted red peppers. Each dish a reflection of a single moment, an edible photograph capturing a mere twinkling of time, locked forever.
I bought Chef Everitt-Matthias’s book ‘Essence’ years before, and had fawned and drooled over the lush photography and original inspiring recipes within. I couldn’t afford a trip to England to eat at his restaurant, so I started reproducing some of the dishes in my own restaurant. I cooked a verbatim copy of one of my favorites, home-salted cod with roasted tomatoes, chickpeas and anchovy dressing, for so long, I began thinking it was my own creation.
Keith Schneider was my last Sous Chef in the professional world who looked remarkably like a young Michael Douglas. He learned to make the best liquid center croquettes on the planet after spending five years sweating in Iron Chef Jose Garces’ kitchens. The first dish he ever cooked for me was a croqueta served with a saffron aioli, I loved it so much I immediately put it on the menu, eventually adding it to the cured cod set.
This is a dish with a lot more moving parts than I normally post. I am confident anyone with a moderate skill level can recreate this dish easily at home. Allow yourself a bit more time, and perhaps an extra glass of wine when preparing. I hope you will love this dish as much as I have.
Cured Black Cod Fried Chickpeas, Piquillos, Chorizo Croquettes and Anchoïade
This dish is the result of an unexpected collaboration between two chefs who never met, David Everitt-Matthias and my sous chef Keith Schneider. The flavors and scents spoke of Provence; freshly salted cod, wisps of the citrus, chickpeas and roasted red peppers.
- 1 ounce sea salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 each orange zested
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 4 - 4 ounce pieces black cod
Finishing the Dish
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 each piquillo peppers drained
- 60 each cooked chickpeas drained
- 4 ounces arugula
- 4 each small chorizo croquettes see down below
- 1 recipe Anchoïade sauce see down below
Mix the salt, sugar, orange zest and herbes de Provence well.
Pack the salt on all four pieces of cod and let cure for no more than three hours. If you leave it on too long the salt will penetrate the meat and make it too salty.
Finishing the Dish
Rinse cure off black cod, and sauté over high heat skin side down in a mixture of butter and olive oil till brown and crispy, about five minutes. The skin will naturally want to curl as it cooks. Remedy that by pressing the cod flat with a pair of tongs or a metal spatula. Flip over and continue cooking on low heat till fish is fully cooked, about five minutes. Black cod is a very moist and forgiving fish. A perfect fish for forgetful cooks.
Remove fish and drain on a paper towel.
Sauté piquillo peppers in the fish pan till warmed through.
Fry chickpeas in same oil as croquettes till brown and crispy.
Arrange a small pile of arugula on a plate.
Top with piquillo peppers and black cod.
Arrange croquettes and fried chickpeas on plate and finish by drizzling anchoïade over.
Chorizo Croquettes, Liquid center Spanish Chorizo croquette
Keith Schneider was my last Sous Chef in the professional world. He looked like a young Michael Douglas, and made the best creamy, liquid center croquettes on the planet. I guess five years sweating in Iron Chef Jose Garces’ kitchens paid off. The first dish I ever tasted of his was a variation of this croqueta served with a saffron aioli. I loved it so much I immediately put it on the menu. You can substitute almost anything for the chorizo to make other croquettes.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 ounces Spanish chorizo finely chopped
- 1 - 1/2 cups milk
- 2 envelops gelatin
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons parsley
Bread and fry
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups Panko
- 10 cups frying oil
Rouille, see page 39
Melt butter and cook finely chopped chorizo for five minutes.
While that is cooking, mix milk and powdered gelatin. Let it sit for five minutes.
Stir in flour to chorizo mixture, and cook over low heat stirring constantly for three minutes.
Whisk in milk mixture, and cook till it gets super thick, about five minutes.
Add parsley, then pour into an 8 inch by 8 inch glass dish and refrigerate for two hours or until solidified.
Cut out four circles with a cookie cutter or water glass. Save the rest for snacking on.
Bread and fry
Put flour, beaten eggs and panko into three separate bowls. Dip croquette first in the flour, then eggs and finally in the panko. Make sure you coat them well or they will disintegrate in the hot oil.
Heat frying oil to 350 degrees. Carefully drop croquettes into hot oil. Deep fry croquettes till brown and crispy, about five minutes. Serve with rouille!
An all purpose cold anchovy sauce great for dipping vegetables or eating on toast.
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 clove garlic mashed
- 1/2 cup light olive oil
Mix anchovy fillets, lemon juice, egg yolks and garlic in a food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade and puree till smooth.
Slowly add olive oil till thick as a mayonnaise.