I had planned to make the black cod with miso tonight, with some rice and greens probably, when I get a call and before you know it I’ve got three sides of beautiful fresh black cod to work with. Most of it will get a smoke for the party on Saturday, but I cut off two nice pieces and upgraded my dinner plans to compensate. Milo is going through a not-loving-the-fish phase, just in time for us to be getting all this perfect free fish, but what can you do? I grabbed some marrow bones from the freezer, which he loves. Roasted, and served on collards steamed and puréed with fenugreek seeds and yogurt, they made for a good beginning.
Next, I rolled the fresh cod pieces (get it?) seasoned with shichimi, salt, and pepper in blanched whole collard leaves that I brushed with a little tamarind sauce. I rolled ‘em up good and gave them a sizzle in some leftover bratwurst fat that I had saved in a pan from earlier. Yep. I do that. After the fish packets were done, I served them on top of the last two butternut rounds in the fridge. To finish, a strained pan reduction made with some good local beer, and a crisp yet super-delicate chip made from gently baking the octopus sauce from last night on some parchment, then peeling it off. Some of those fancy starches make paper-thin crisps when dehydrated, and these worked pretty well. They had the intense flavor of the original sauce, and melted nicely into the new one when broken up.
A little rushed, but the two contrasting treatments of the fish was a nice follow-up to yesterday’s mackerel study. Both had lots of personality, but they shared a plate well; the miso and brat-beer sauces in particular got very friendly. The tastes were not as precise as last night, but then neither was my approach. Re-using so many ingredients in different ways is a good study in close harmony, helping me understand certain flavors better- and also, just as importantly, keeping the leftover parade chugging along efficiently.