Sunday, October 27, 2013

Barolo Poached Pacific Cod Loin, Vidalia Onion Compote & Yukon Gold Puree

It's that time again...

This month our challenge was to cook with spirits.  Cooking with alcohol is a big part of my cuisine, so this was right in my comfort zone.

My old man provided the spirit, a fantastic Italian Barolo wine.  When cooking with wine keep a simple thought in mind...

If you would not drink it, do not cook with it.  

Barolo Poached Pacific Cod Lion, Vidalia Onion Compote & Yukon Gold Puree

Pacific Cod is a fantastic, sustainable fish.  I purchased the whole fish.  Cutting my loins into about 5 ounce portions.  The bones were also used in this dish.

Poaching is one of my favorite cooking methods for fish.  Poaching affords the cook reasonable control over the cooking temperature and suits the delicate nature of fish flesh.

I keep poaching temperature 160 & 180 F.

For this course, I made a "fish stock" type poaching liquid using Barolo wine instead of water.

Poaching Liquid

  • Barolo Wine
  • Pacific Cod Bones
  • Onion
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme 
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Star Anise 
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cumin Seed
  • Black Peppercorns
  • All Spice
  • Cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.  Bring the temperature up to 185 F.  Do not allow to boil.  Maintain simmer for 1 hour.

Strain the cooking liquid.  Return to the heat.  Bring up to about 170 F.  Add the cod and poach for 7 minutes.  No longer than 10 minutes.  Do not overcook.

It is imperative to invest in a good quality kitchen Quick Read Thermometer.  It is the only way to be accurate.

Once the fish is done, it takes on a lovely deep purple color.  However, when the diner cuts into the fish....

The inside is pearl white.  Great color contrast.

Vidalia Onion Compote

  • Vidalia Onion - Thinly sliced
  • Thyme
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sea Salt
  • Barolo Wine Cooking Liquid
The keys here are temperature, time and patience.
  • Combine the onions, thyme & butter
  • Cook over low heat for 50 minutes
  • Stirring often
  • Add brown sugar and sea salt
  • Cook for 10 minutes
  • Add 2 ounces of the barolo cooking liquid
  • Cook until the liquid is reduced.
In the next few days, I will dedicate a post to my Yukon Gold Puree.  One of my "death row" meals for sure.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. Great use for Barolo here. Never would have thought to use it with fish but after I made a 100 year old recipe for fish chowder with red wine I am a convert to the idea. It's delicious with fish. Nummy with that onion too and great not to waste any of the lovely wine.

  2. You are a master of cooking with fish, Laz! Nice use of Barolo win with the cod - the color contrast between the outside and inside is gorgeous. And the onion compote, well. I'd like to try this! Looking forward to your Yukon Gold Puree!

  3. I was surprised at first by your choice of Barolo but it obviously worked out well. Learn something new every day! Love what you did with the onions and can't wait to learn why potatoes are so good.

  4. I'm licking my chops waiting for that potato puree. I agree. If you can't drink it, don't cook with it. Any wine opened over a day isn't good in my book either and lots of folks save old wine to cook with. I also liked that you used the bones. I love buying whole fish. Stunning.

  5. As they say I :I cook with wine, sometimes I add it to the food" usual you created another starry dish...

  6. beautiful dish! I'm so intrigued by the red wine in here!

  7. Just a gorgeous dish alround. I have to get my hands on this fish and poaching is the best.

  8. I'm using barolo with lamb on the weekend, would have thought it too heavy for fish but you are always thinking outside of the box, Laz! Patience is the key, sometimes I don't have that much! I agree with you about the thermometer, it helps to take the guesswork out.

  9. nice dish - poaching a white fish in barolo is a great idea


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