Here we are, in the heart of summer with long, hot days keeping most people away from their hot stoves and out on their patios grilling steaks. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have yet to become a true master of the grill. If I had a grill in my kitchen, I’m sure I’d be grilling away every night. But there’s something scary about going out the back door, down the stairs to the grill to cook while everything else is simmering away on the stove upstairs. I like all of my cooking to be going on in the same room. That having been said, I will be doing some grilling later in the summer and can promise their will be some griller-friendly recipes to follow. Until then, I find myself searching the web for summer meals that don’t need a barbeque.
I have fantasized many times about going to The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller’s three Michelin Star restaurant in Yountville, California in the Napa Valley. So when I found this no-grilling-required Thomas Keller recipe for cod with creamed corn and fava bean succotash from Bon Appétit, September 2000, I thought I might cry. Tears of joy, that is.
Aside from the explosion of corn kernels all over my counter-tops and floor (If anyone has tips for keeping corn from flying all over the place when cutting it off the cob, please let me know), this was one of the best things I’ve ever made or eaten. I recommend serving it with a good French baguette to dip in the creamed corn. The pre-fixe menu at The French Laundry is $250.00 dollars per person. I’m sure it’s amazing. But eating this refreshing summer meal at home with someone you love, is truly priceless.
Sautéed Cod with Creamed Corn and Summer Succotash
- 3/4 pounds fava beans, shelled, or 1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
- 1 large ears corn, kernels cut from cob (about 1 cup)
- 1 large tomato, seeded, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For creamed corn
- 3 large ears corn, kernels cut from cob (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 2 6- to 8-ounce pieces cod fillets
Cook beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon or strainer, transfer beans to colander; reserve cooking water. Rinse beans with cold water. If using fava beans, peel off outer skins and discard. Add corn kernels to reserved cooking water and cook until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Return beans and corn to same saucepan. Mix in tomato, Italian parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand covered at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat before serving.)
For creamed corn:
Place 2 cups corn kernels in processor. Puree until liquid is released from corn, about 3 minutes (mixture will still be coarse). Transfer pureed corn to strainer set over large measuring cup. Press on solids in strainer to extract at least 1/2 cup juice; discard solids. Transfer corn juice to medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until juice begins to thicken, about 45 seconds (do not boil or juice may curdle). Add remaining 2 cups corn kernels and whipping cream to saucepan and stir just until corn is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove creamed corn from heat; cover to keep warm.
Pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over high heat. Sprinkle cod fillets with salt and pepper. Add fillets to skillet and cook until golden brown and center of each fillet is just opaque, about 4 minutes per side. Divide creamed corn equally among 4 plates. Top each serving with sautéed cod fillet. Spoon succotash atop each fillet and serve.