This delicious and healthy recipe is dedicated to Mrs. Margret Kirsch who is a person of great taste and cooks amazing food with elegant recipes. During my visit to Frankfurt a few years ago, she made this dish that really mesmerized me.  The combination of the flaky fish with the creamy sweet and peppery sauce is exquisite.  Some people are afraid of cooking with fish, but don’t be. The trick is to cook the fish very simply (poach or roast) and then add the flavor via a delicious sauce. In this recipe, the fish is cooked in the oven, but you could also pan-sear it or grill it.  A firm white fish such as cod, halibut and sea bass is preferable. I modified the original recipe a little by adding some panko crust on the fish and zingy lemongrass in the sauce. Make sure you have a few slices of bread to soak up the sauce on the plate!

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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time:  45 mins (25-30 mins for the sauce, 15-20 mins for the fish)
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 2
Course:  lunch, dinner, main course

INGREDIENTS

Red Bell Pepper Puree

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (79 milliliters) water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup (79 milliliters) heavy cream (optional)

Fish

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons panko
  • 2 x 6 ounces (2 x 170 grams) cod fillet (or any white firm fish such as halibut, sea bass or monk fish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, and additional for the top of the fish
  • salt and pepper
  • lime zest (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS

Red Bell Pepper Sauce

  1. Char the red bell peppers by placing them directly on the burner of the gas stove on low heat. The bell peppers will start to pop. Flip the peppers to the desired char, about 1 min on each side. You can also roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes but cut them in half first. (This step is optional.)
  2. Remove the pepper from the stove and let cool. Remove the seeds inside the peppers and slice the peppers roughly, 5 mins.
  3. Heat a sauce pan with butter and sauté the garlic and shallots in a heated sauce pan. Add the chopped peppers, lemongrass, and water into the pan, cook on low to medium heat and stir occasionally for about 15 mins.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and let cool. Use an immersion hand blender or any blender to purée the bell pepper mixture until very smooth – usually several minutes worth of blending. It is ok if it is watery.
  5. Return the pan to the stove on low heat. Optional to add heavy cream to the pan. Simmer the sauce until it reaches your desired consistency; at least 5 mins. It should be creamy , but not runny. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated before preparing the fish.

Fish

  1. Pre-heat the oven the 425ºF (218ºC).
  2. Mix the panko and melted butter in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper, and place the fish on an oiled (with the 2 tablespoons olive oil) baking dish or aluminum foil.
  4. Use a silicone brush or a spoon to coat the top of the fish with a little olive oil. Then evenly spread the top of the fish with the panko mixture. Push down gently so the crumbs adhere to the oil coating.
  5. Place the baking dish in the middle rack of the oven and roast for 10 – 12 mins or until cooked.
  6. Re-position the baking dish to the top rack and boil for anther 2 – 3 mins until the crust is browned.
  7. To serve, ladle the warm red pepper sauce over a plate. Swirl the plate so the sauce is covering the plate evenly. Place the cooked fillet over the sauce. Sprinkle with some lime zest.

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