Basque-Style Salt Cod and Kokotxas with Fried Polenta and Ink Sauce

Credit: Didier Loire
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Step 1: Cod and Kokotxas

Soak the salt cod in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water every 6 hours. Poach the cod in milk at 175°F (80°C) for 5 minutes. Drain, and cook à la meunière in the butter and 4 teaspoons (2 cl) olive oil, to caramelize the fish on all sides.

Bring up the fat with a dash of lemon juice. Baste the cod steaks with the cooking juices, remove, and place on a rack.

Prepare the kokotxas removing the nerves and the inner skin. Pat dry with a dishtowel, and split the lobes in two.

Finely chop the garlic. Stew the kokotxas with the crushed garlic in the rest of the olive oil. The gelatin contained in the hake cheeks should make the sauce rather thick.

Step 2: Ink Sauce

Sweat the finely chopped onions with the chopped garlic. Season with coarse sea salt. Add the chopped tomatoes and the dried fennel. Cook until soft, then add the fish. Stew for a further 5 minutes, then cover with water. Add a pinch of saffron, the pepper, coriander seeds, and orange rind, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Strain the sauce base, bring back to a boil and thicken with the squid ink. Filter through a fine meshed chinois and emulsify with butter.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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