Polenta-Crusted Sablefish (Black Cod) with Herb and Olive Gremolata and Confit Potatoes
If sablefish, also known as black cod, is new to your repertoire, or if you’re simply looking for a fresh and summery way to enjoy the buttery fish, this is a great dish for you. The crunchy polenta crust surrounding the silky fish makes for a satisfying bite, and the herb and olive gremolata brightens it up perfectly. Think sunny, coastal Europe vibes with enough heft to sate an American appetite.
- 10 to 12 small yellow potatoes, washed
- 2 to 3 cups neutral oil
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 12 Castelvetrano olives, pitted and roughly chopped (or any other table olive)
- 1 large egg, whisked
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour)
- 1 cup fine ground cornmeal, uncooked
- 1 pound sablefish (about 1-inch thick), skinned and cut into four portions
- 1 bunch of arugula or watercress
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium pot over low heat, add potatoes and cover completely with oil. Gently heat until potatoes are tender with a fork, about 20 minutes. Do not boil. With a slotted spoon, remove potatoes from oil, set aside, and keep warm until plating.
In a medium bowl, mix together parsley, garlic, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add olives, mix thoroughly, and set aside.
Add the egg, flour, and cornmeal to three separate shallow bowls. Stir 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper into the cornmeal. Dip the fish into the flour to coat, shaking off any extra. Then dip fish into the egg and let excess drip off. Lastly, dip fish into the cornmeal to coat completely and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of neutral oil over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add fish to the hot skillet and fry on one side until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip and fry the second side until lightly browned but still firm to touch, 3 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillet. Remove from pan, place on a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate, and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Meanwhile, on a cutting board, smash the potatoes with the heel of your palm. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, turning once or twice until golden and crisp all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season lightly with salt.
Divide potatoes among 4 plates and top with the arugula (or watercress). Place the polenta-crusted sablefish fish on top of the potatoes. Garnish with a large spoonful of gremolata on and around the fish and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.