Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Vanilla-Flecked Black Cod en Papillote #NielsenMasseyInspires #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nielsen-Massey.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.

I have long been a fan of Nielsen-Massey products and was excited to be approached to create some recipes with their products. In fact, I usually have - at least - a handful of their extracts and other products in my cupboards at a time! Many I've received for past events in which I've participated, but their intense purity of flavor and extraordinary quality have made me a dedicated, paying customer as well.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.

I have used their Pure Coffee Extract in my Coffee-Kissed Pizzelle and Mocha Crinkle Cookies; their Pure Lemon Extract added amazing tang to my Spring-Infused Lemon Drop; their Pure Almond Extract was a key ingredient in my Zabaglione alle Mandalore; and I added their Rose Water in my Cardamom Rose Cocktail; and both my Galette Perougienne and Ahwa Beida (White Coffee) feature their Pure Orange Extract. So, yeah, big Nielsen-Massey fan here.

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
You have probably encountered quite a few types of vanilla: plain old vanilla plus Tahitian, Mexican, and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. I thought that 'bourbon vanilla' referred to the alcohol used when making extract; I use vodka when making homemade vanilla extract. But that was incorrect. Most of the world's vanilla is from the Vanilla planifolia orchid that grows in Madagascar, Réunion, and other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean. The bean's common name is Bourbon vanilla - after the former name of Réunion: Île Bourbon. 

Nielsen-Massey's Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste is crafted with their Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract with real bean specks from the vanilla pod. The flavor is velvety sweet and its thick consistency adds vibrant vanilla flavor without adding liquid and thinning out batters or sauces. I love that it gives those tell-tale vanilla bean specks to dishes in addition to the flavor.

When faced with using vanilla in a creative way, I leaned towards the savory and tested different applications. I'll be sharing a cocktail I created as well, but this was for a dinner I made for friends while the wife and older son were out of the country on a school trip. #FeedtheNeedy, we joked.

In true (resourceful) dad fashion, one of my best friends had lined up dinners at different houses while his wife was away. Can he cook? Certainly. Was it more fun to plead need and have friends host him?? Absolutely.

Along with the vanilla-flecked black cod, I served clams over squid ink pasta and a winter salad with avocados and blood oranges.

Vanilla-Flecked Black Cod en Papillote 

Just a brief note on selecting the fish – I wanted a mild, firm fish to really showcase the unique sweetness of the vanilla paste. It is also important to me that my seafood selection be sustainable. Sustainable seafood is seafood that is either caught, or farmed, in ways that take into consideration the long-term vitality of the species as well as the health of the oceans. Most fish mongers these days are prepared to answer questions about sourcing. So, don’t be afraid to ask. Read, research, and decide for yourself which fishes you want to purchase. The day that I made this, there were fillets of fresh black cod at our fish market that were perfect for this sweet and savory dish.

En papillote is a method of cooking that involves making an envelope out of parchment paper and roasting the fish in the package. I love it! The steam produced in the packet keeps the fish moist, and it's a fun presentation to open the fish packet at the table.

serves 4 to 6, depending on appetite and other dishes being served

  • 2 black cod fillets, approximately 1 pound each
  • 4 t Madagascar vanilla paste (prefer Nielsen-Massey), divided
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 C pitted olives (I used Niçoise for their intense, nutty flavor), divided
  • 1/2 C baby heirloom tomatoes, halved lengthwise), divided
  • good quality olive oil
  • also needed: parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay fillet on a piece of parchment paper that’s long enough that you can completely envelop your filet and create a parchment packet.

Spoon 2 t vanilla paste over the fish and spread over the surface. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt, freshly ground pepper, and 1 t fresh thyme leaves.

Scatter 1/4 C olives and 1/4 C tomatoes over the fish. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bring the sides of the parchment up around the filet and fold the edges together, rolling it down to the fish. Crimp the ends together, folding them in till fish is completely enclosed. Place the packet on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast for 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and let steam for another five minutes before serving. Let diners open the packet at the table.

You may find Nielsen-Massey on the web, on Twitter, on Pinterest, and on Facebook.

*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for recipe development, however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

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