Elevated Pub Food: Sous Vide Cod and Smashed English Peas
Posted by : Alex Mills /
We all love our pub food. Scotch eggs. Truffle fries. Nachos or wings with any number of mouth watering sauces and toppings. Pub food is delicious but doesn't exactly scream class.
One of our our favorite things to do here at Gramercy Kitchen Co is to help you create easy but delicious meals for loved ones to help make connection over a meal more simple. We've all experienced the power of enjoying friends and family over a relaxed, delicious meal, but the prep work needed can be prohibitive. It can keep us from creating beautiful atmospheres for those we care about that make it easy to connect. But it doesn't have to be that way!
Maybe you've heard of the cooking technique taking the foodie scene by storm. The sous vide technique is the best - and easiest - way to create delicious meals with the finest quality results. Food cooked sous vide is brought up to a specific temperature, but not higher, making it just about impossible to overcook your food. Because you can't overcook your food, it's also really hard to ruin it. Which means you don't have to babysit your meal in the kitchen, freeing you up for more important things. Like greeting your guests or enjoying your family after a long work day.
We had some fun experimenting with some pub favorites and elevating them to something you'd be proud to serve to friends at a dinner party. Something your friends would love eating and would be wow'ed by at the same time. But NOT something that will take you five hours of active prep and cooking time to make.
This would also make a delicious (yet easy!) week night meal that's going to make your family think they are related to a much cooler version of Martha Stewart. It's that tasty.
Sous Vide Cod and English Smashed Peas
A word about sous vide cooking...
If you are new to sous vide you'll find that all the time and temperature stuff can be confusing. Click here for a full run down on how sous vide works, but for now, just know that it can take a little experimenting to find the right temperature to create your desired "done-ness". This is especially true with cod.
If you've enjoyed cod before, you know that it can be easy to overcook it - it can get dry and even tough quickly. This feature of cod makes it perfect for sous vide since you can cook it at a precisely controlled, lower temperature.
Some of the temperature ranges for cooking the cod here will seem low! And cooking it below 140F requires frozen (to kill any bacteria) or sushi grade cuts. We will do our best to explain the various ranges to help you pick where to start your experimenting, but generally, if you are open to trying out a little bit of a lower temperature than what you're used to, you may be amazed by the results.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
- 4 4-6 oz portions of cod
- 6 T olive oil
- salt, pepper
- powdered garlic
- 1 head fresh garlic
- 20 oz frozen peas
- 2T grated parmesan cheese
- 1 bunch fresh herbal mint
- 2 fresh lemons
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 small shallot
- 2 T butter
COD TIME AND TEMP RANGES:
|very soft, tender and very juicy||106 F - 110 F, 1 HR|
|firmer, still juicy||115 - 122 F, 1 HR|
|flakes well, a bit dry||123 - 130 F, 1 HR|
|flakey and firm, dry||140 F, 1 HR|
Set up your sous vide arrangement, program your Gramercy Kitchen Co. sous vide machine to your desired temperature setting and heat the water bath. You won't need a huge vessel to hold your water bath for this one.
While the water heats, coat your cod filets liberally on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder (there is some argument about whether fresh garlic is safe to cook sous vide, so we recommend powdered garlic).
In a zippered or vacuum sealable bag, insert the filets along with a healthy glug of good olive oil. You can include more than one filet in the bag depending on the size of it, or you can pack each one individually.
Once the water has come to temperature, place the bags in the water bath. If using zippered pouches, leave the top open and slowly lower the bags into the water, letting the water pressure force the air out as you go. Once the air has been removed, seal and clip the top of whatever bag you are using to the top of the vessel.
Let it run.
Once you have about 20 minutes left of the cooking time, it's a good time to prepare the rest of the meal.
Heat a pan of water to a boil. Throw in a clove of peeled garlic as well as salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and add peas. Cook until peas are tender.
Add peas to a food processor or blender. Blend until they are smooth with some lumps if you like it that way. Add remaining ingredients - mint, 1T olive oil, parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add salt to taste. You can also add more oil to reach your desired mash consistency. Blend until combined.
Add mixture back into pan on very low heat to keep warm.
To make an optional (but highly recommended!) pan sauce, add some oil to a hot pan. Add several tablespoons of oil, 1 cup of white wine, diced shallots, diced clove of garlic and lemon juice of 1 lemon to the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. (You can also add the juices from the bags of finished cod.) Stir often. Let thicken until it coats a spoon.
Just before it's done, add 2 tablespoons of butter and let it melt together.
In your serving dish, coat the bottom with pea puree. Once the cod has finished the cooking process, add the finished filets directly to the top of the pea puree. Cover with pan sauce.
*Side note: because cod flakes so easily, we find it's easier to plate it directly onto the pea mash without searing it. If you like, you can give it a quick 30 second sear on the presentation side in a super hot pan. It's up to your preference on this one.
Serve immediately and enjoy.