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Tahini-Poached Black Cod Over Squid Ink Pasta #SeafoodMonthChallenge


A friend sent me a link to this Seafood Month Challenge levied by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Read about the challenge here. I'm always up for a cooking challenge!


What luck that my CSF (community-supported fishery) Real Good Fish share this week was freshly caught black cod also called sablefish. This black cod was caught by fisherman Daniel Deyerle on the FV Sea Harvest II with a Bottom Set Long Line off of Moss Landing. Black cod caught this way is a 'best choice' according to Seafood Watch.


I decided to poach the black cod in a lemon-tahini sauce and serve it atop squid ink pasta. The peanut gallery wanted cheese, cheese, and more cheese on top. So I pulled out a wedge of Grana Padano and they went to town.


Luckily I had a glut of lemons that the boys had just picked from my parents' tree for a Lemon Meringue Tart I made for a friend's dad last weekend. I served this slightly tart pasta with grilled zucchini and poured a Greco di Tufo to pair. Che squisito!

Ingredients serves 4

  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds black cod fillets
  • 3/4 C tahini
  • 1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice (this was approximately 6 Meyer lemons)
  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 t butter
  • 4 C baby kale leaves
  • squid ink pasta
  • Grana Padano cheese, for serving
  • black sesame seeds for serving

Procedure

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, and warm water until well-combined. Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter in 1 T sesame oil. Place the cod fillets, skin-side down, in the pan and sear for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. 

In the same pan, stir in the pressed garlic and cook for just a minute until it is aromatic but hasn't yet started to brown. Add in the baby kale and cook until it just starts to wilt. Pour in the tahini and bring to a simmer. Gently lower the fillets into the tahini sauce, this time skin-side up, and cover to poach. You just want the fish opaque, ours took just about 4 minutes; it'll depend on the thickness of your pieces. Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the sauce.

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and fold it into the tahini sauce. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil and toss to coat completely.


To serve, place a portion of pasta on individual serving plates. Top with the cooked black cod and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.


Let diners grate as much cheese over the top as they wish. My crew wanted lots of cheese.


That's my offering for the third week of the #SeafoodMonthChallenge. We'll be back next week with our take on finfish. Okay, I'll have to put on my thinking cap for that one.

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