Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 24, 2021
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Cod braised with white wine, potatoes and escarole

1 lb. (500 g) salt cod, cut into small pieces

8 c. (2 L) water

2 c. (500 ml) dry white wine

1 c. (250 ml) plus 2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-in.- (5-mm-) thick half-rounds

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. (5 ml) fresh thyme, minced

2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced and rinsed

leaves from 1 head escarole, torn into ½-in. (1.25-cm) pieces

2 lb. (1 kg) boneless, skinless, fresh cod fillets, cut into eight 4-oz. (125-g) portions

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 lemon (optional)

8 wedges bread, toasted

Soak the salt cod pieces for 1 hour in cold water to cover, changing the water at least 2 times before using. Drain.

In a soup pot, combine the salt cod, water, wine, the 1 cup (250 ml) olive oil, onion, potatoes, garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add the leeks and escarole. Continue to simmer until all the ingredients are tender, about 40 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the cod fillets until golden brown on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the fish and add the salt cod stew. When the liquid comes to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the fresh cod is opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. There should be plenty of broth; if too much of the liquid has evaporated, add a splash of water.

Ladle the stew into warmed, shallow bowls and float a cod fillet in each bowl. Sprinkle with black pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice, if you like. Serve with a wedge of toasted bread to soak up the broth. Serves 8 as a main course.

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