The key to this dish is a Thai-inspired sauce perfumed with lemongrass. Its brightness brings out the gingery bite of the crunchy bok choy, and gives the delicate cod a welcome depth of flavor. It's the perfect springtime meal, and although it takes less than 30 minutes to put together, it's sophisticated enough to serve at any dinner party.
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
2 tablespoons ghee
3 large shallots
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 stalks lemongrass (or 3-4 small), chopped
3 packed tablespoons fresh minced ginger
2 teaspoons turmeric
Zest of 2 limes
3 cups chicken bone stock
1 can coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch ground ginger
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro stalk
1 tablespoon raw honey
Juice of 3 to 4 limes (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Honeyed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, thoroughly washed, cut into 1-inch rounds
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
For the broth, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots to caramelize slightly, 4 minutes. Add the garlic, lemongrass, fresh ginger, turmeric, and lime zest and sweat 2 minutes. Pour in the bone stock and coconut milk and stir. Add in the spices, cilantro stems, and honey. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer and let reduce, slightly, 30 minutes. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and keep warm.
For the sweet potatoes, place them in a medium saucepan with the butter, honey, and salt. Pour in enough water to just cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce and simmer, 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has absorbed.
Meanwhile, coat the bok choy with the melted oil, ginger, and salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven, 5 to 6 minutes. Place the baking sheet directly in the refrigerator to cool quickly so they retain their bright green color.
When almost ready to serve, season the cod on both sides with salt, pepper, and a small pinch of cayenne if desired. Place a skillet with the ghee over high heat until the ghee is just smoking. Working in batches, place the fish in the skillet and sear until golden brown, 2 minutes. Turn and sear on other side, 30 seconds. Place the fish on baking tray and continue to cook in oven, 6 to 7 minutes.
To serve, divide the cod, sweet potatoes, and bok choy between 4 bowls. Pour the broth over the cod, garnish with chopped cilantro.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont