Corned Cod With Potato Risotto


Chef Rodney Bowers serves up some authentic east coast flavour in his hearty corned cod with puttanesca salsa and potato risotto.


4 6-oz. centre-cut cod filets
coarse salt, enough to cover fish (approximately 2 cups)
6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
8 sun-dried tomato halves, soaked for 10 min in water, cut into thin strips
12 baked black olives, pits removed and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
1 tbsp cured lemon, finely chopped, or couple rasps fresh lemon zest
2 tbsp good wine vinegar
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely sliced
1/2 tsp honey
squeeze lemon juice
1/4 lb. bacon, chopped into 1/4-in. pieces
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lb. (2 cups) fingerling potatoes, cut into thin, quarter-sized rounds
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3-4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, brought to a boil on the stove
2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
black pepper, to taste

  1. Place fish in a shallow pan or bowl and cover completely with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Rinse fish with water, then pat dry and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a preheated sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic and toast for another minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, olives, capers and lemon (or zest) and sauté for one minute; add vinegar. Pour mixture into a small bowl and let cool.
  5. Add remaining olive oil to salsa. Stir in parsley and honey and squeeze in lemon juice. Set aside.
  6. Render bacon in a large sauté pan or small wide-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  7. Add shallots and 1 tbsp butter; cook until soft.
  8. Add potatoes, sprig of thyme and bay leaf and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add 1 cup of hot stock. (The stock doesn't need to be hot, but it speeds the process.)
  10. Stir in spuds and let stock reduce into them.When first batch of stock is almost gone, add a bit more; continue adding stock as it is absorbed until potatoes are soft and creamy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  11. Remove potatoes from heat and take out thyme sprig and bay leaf. Add remaining butter and stir in chives. (You want the risotto to be a little wet.)
  12. Sear cod, presentation-side down, in 2 tbsp oil in a hot sauté pan. After about a minute, add a sprig of thyme and 1 tbsp butter; baste fish with butter as it cooks.
  13. Flip fish and continue to baste until just cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  14. At his restaurant, Rodney adds the fish to the risotto pan before serving so that its juices mix with the potatoes to create a wonderful flavour.
  15. To plate, place risotto in the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with fish. Spoon salsa overtop and serve.


Also on CBC