Recipe: Cod in Olive-Tomato Crust

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You can take liberties with the crust for this dish: I sometimes add horseradish, bread crumbs, minced scallions, herbs, and garlic, for example. The assertive ingredients in this crust are just right for flaky and mild-flavored cod. Scrod and haddock also work well. In fact, any fresh fish fillets—the fresher the better—can be cooked this way.

I like to buy cod loin fillets, which are the thick ones from the back of the fish. About 1 inch thick, they will need 5 to 6 minutes under the broiler; adjust the timing if your fillets are thinner or thicker. The dish can be assembled a few hours ahead so it is ready to slide under the broiler at serving time.

Serve with Skillet Broccoli Bits.

4 servings

Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces and put them in a food processor with the olives and cheese. Process until you have a rough puree that holds together.

Rub the fillets with the 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper. Arrange the fillets so there is space between them on the baking sheet. Cover the fillets with the tomato-olive mixture and slide them under the broiler, so the fish is about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil for about 5 minutes, until the fillets are just tender but are still slightly undercooked inside. Garnish with the parsley and serve. Pass the bottle of extra-virgin olive oil at the table.

Recipe: Skillet Broccoli Bits

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To me, the stems are the best part of the broccoli. They have to be peeled to remove the fibrous, tough outer skin, but they are firm, nutty, and buttery inside. Here both the peeled stems and the florets are cut into pieces and sautéed in a skillet. A little water is added at first and the broccoli is covered to start the cooking process. After it evaporates, the broccoli is finished uncovered. This is especially good with Cod in Olive-Tomato Crust.

4 servings

Cut the broccoli florets off the stems and divide the florets into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Peel the skin from the stems with a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler. Cut the peeled stems into 1-inch pieces.

Put the broccoli into a stainless-steel skillet and add the water, oil, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, over high heat for about 3 minutes. Remove the cover and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, or until the water is gone and the broccoli is glazed and tender but still firm. Serve.

Episode 222: Seafood Tricks

Little tricks make life in the kitchen so much easier, and Jacques is always ready with tips to simplify or speed up a task. Here he pops clams into the freezer for a few minutes to make opening them a breeze for his Baked Clams Madison. Jacques suggests cod as the perfect choice for those who hesitate to cook fish. It stays moist through cooking and, when topped with an olive crust in Cod in Olive-Tomato Crust, it packs a lot of flavor. Skillet Broccoli Bits make a great pairing with the fish. Finally, warm hazelnut-chocolate spread is mixed with ice cream to form the sauce in Mango with Nutella Sauce.

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Minute Recipe: Eggs and Anchovies

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This delicious first course was a favorite at my mother's restaurant in Lyon when I was a teenager. Since I usually have all the garnishes in my refrigerator, nothing could be easier to prepare, but the eggs have to be cooked properly.

Lower 4 large eggs into boiling water to cover, bring the water back to a very low boil, and boil gently for 9 minutes. Pour out the hot water and shake the pan to crack the eggshells. Fill the pan with cold water and ice and let the eggs cool thoroughly. Shell the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Place 2 halved eggs on each of two plates or on a platter. In a small bowl, whisk together until smooth 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon ketchup, and a good dash of Tabasco hot pepper sauce. Coat the eggs with the sauce. Place 1 anchovy fillet on top of each halved egg. Sprinkle on a few capers. Divide about 1 tablespoon chopped red onion among the four plates. Serve.

2 servings