Recipe: Crispy Black Bass/Salt Cod Ravioli/Mussel Broth (Mark Sullivan)

(from me) I haven’t tried this recipe but I’m sure it’s great, like all Mark’s food. The ravioli are undoubtedly wonderful, but they take a lot of work. A suggested substitution is to buy some high-quality seafood ravioli. Believe it or not, Sigona’s Produce (Stanford Shopping Center & Redwood City) has some really, really good frozen ravioli and I think there’s a smoked salmon version. Or choose one you like elsewhere. Serving fish in a broth vs. the usual sauce is a terrific approach that I’ve done many times. It’s less fattening, too.

Serves 4


4 6oz. filets of black bass (can substitute striped bass)

12 salt cod raviolis (recipe follows)

1 pound of mussels, de-bearded, rinsed, & scrubbed

5 T shallots, minced

5 T vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded, & diced

1 T garlic, slivered

2 T Italian parsley (picked & minced)

8 leaves basil (cut into thin strips)

1 1/2 cups white wine

3 T butter

1 T grapeseed oil

salt & white pepper to taste

Mussel Broth

1.Sweat minced shallots, slivered garlic and diced tomato in one tablespoon of
butter on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Season with a scant amount
of salt and finely ground white pepper.

2. Add mussels and white wine and bring the heat to medium-high. Simmer for
about 3 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Pick the meat from the
shells and reserve separately. Turn broth down to medium-low heat and
simmer an additional 3 minutes. Turn heat off and whisk into broth 2 T
butter, herbs, & last, the mussel meat. Keep warm.

Crispy Black Bass

Dry the bass filets between paper towels and season them with salt and white
pepper. In a seasoned steel pan sear the bass filets skin side down in the
grapeseed oil for 4 minutes. Turn over and cook flesh side down for 1 minute.

Salt Cod Raviolis

While the fish is cooking drop the raviolis into simmering water. Cook at a
simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. The cooking time is dependent on thickness of pasta
sheets and may require further cooking. Add cooked raviolis to broth and
serve immediately.

To serve

Evenly spoon out raviolis and broth into four large bowls. Center crispy black
bass between raviolis.

Salt cod raviolis

4 each 6″xl2″ very thin pasta sheets; these can also be purchased at specialty food store

Ingredients for filling

1 pound salt cod (soaked in cold water for three days changing the water three times daily)

6 cups court bouillon*

1 cup reduced cream (simmer 2 cups cream until reduced by half)

4 T extra virgin olive oil

8 T small yellow onion, diced

1 T garlic, minced

4 T fennel, diced

1 teaspoon lemon zest

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 T herbs minced (parsley, tarragon, chervil chive)

*Court Bouillon

Bring 6 cups of white wine to a simmer with one quartered onion, one leek split in
half, two celery ribs split in half, one peeled carrot split in half, 6 ea. black
peppercorns, 6 each sprigs thyme, tarragon and parsley. Let simmer for thirty
minutes and add two cups of water. Strain and reserve liquid.

Soaking and poaching the cod

1. Soak the 1 pound of cod in cold water for three days, changing the water three times

2. Bring the court bouillon to a slight simmer and submerge the cod into it for 10
minutes. When cooked, the cod should flake easily, while retaining a translucent
appearance. If the fish is not flaking and is fleshy, allow to cook further, checking
every two minutes.

3. Once cooked, blot the fish with a towel and flake by hand. Work the fish with
your hands until it has a fine uniform texture, about two minutes.

Making the filling

1. On low heat, cook the onions, fennel, and garlic in 4 T of olive oil until translucent,
about 30 minutes. Add the reduced cream and the poached cod and work together
with a fork until smooth and homogenous.

2. Let cool to room temperature and add the zest, white pepper and herbs. Taste for
seasoning and add salt if needed. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Making the raviolis

1. Lay out two sheets of the pasta on a well-floured surface. Lightly spray or mist
the pasta sheets with water until just slightly tacky. Divide the filling into 12
uniform balls and place evenly on the two pasta sheets. Make sure there is an
inch of space around the border of each sheet. Delicately place the remaining two
sheets over each of the base sheets. Squeeze out any air pockets that may be
trapped between the sheets and press firmly to seal around the filling of each.

2. Cut the ravioli into uniform shapes and reserve on floured sheetpans.

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