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Seared Black Cod served on Pommes Paillasson topped with Chanterelles


February 19, 2011

Seared Black Cod served on Pommes Paillasson topped with Chanterelles

Seared Black Cod served on Pommes Paillasson topped with Chanterelles

People are often surprised by how “well” Matt and I eat. Scoffing at posts on Shut Up and Cook or my Twitter feed, they seem generally surprised that most nights a week we cook a nice dinner consisting of (dare I say) an entrée, a side, and a veggie. Now…don’t get me wrong…we like bad Chinese food and Pizza Hut buffalo wings as much as the next guy but I find that by consistently putting together a meal plan and grocery shopping for nice ingredients I eat healthier, save money, and have more fun doing it.

This year’s Valentine’s Day dinner was no exception. Committed to avoiding the contrived, “romantic prix-fixe dinners for two” we decided to do one of our favorite dishes, Black Cod. For all you East Coasters, Black Cod isn’t actually cod at all but rather a Pacific sablefish, offering a rich flavor and lovely texture. I had a few potatoes in the fridge and the chanterelles at Pike Place Market had looked too good to pass up so what we ended up with was a lovely tower of deliciousness, starting with Pommes Paillasson (or grated potato pancake), then Black Cod Steak, and finally buttery chanterelles.

Don’t let the french name scare you. You can make this and it will be delicious. It’s actually very quick to prepare so would be perfect for a nice dinner party or special occasion meal. Serve with a bottle of red such as Walla Walla Vintners Sangiovese (a personal fave).

Seared Black Cod served on Pommes Paillasson topped with Chanterelles

Serves 2, but can easily be doubled

Pommes Paillasson (Grated Potato Pancake, adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

3/4 lb russet potatoes

2 TB butter (or margarine if making lactose free)

Dash salt and pepper

Peel potatoes. Grate in a food processor fitted with a course shredding disk or on large teardrop-shaped holes of a box grater. Working in small batches, wrap potatoes in a kitchen towel and twist and squeeze tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a bowl and toss with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 TB butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides and swirl to coat the pan. Reduce heat to moderate, then immediately spread potatoes in skillet and press down on top once with a spatula. Cook potato until underside is golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Potatoes Frying

Potatoes Frying

Slide cake onto a large plate. Invert another large plate over it and invert cake onto it. Heating remaining 1 TB butter in skillet over medium heat and swirl. Slide cake back into skillet, browned side up, and cook until underside is golden brown, about 10-12 minutes more.

Slide cake onto a cutting board and cut in half.


1/2 lb wild chanterelles, wiped clean of any dirt

2 TB butter (or margarine if making lactose free)

1/4 tsp salt

While the potato pancake is cooking, in a small non-stick pan add the butter over medium heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the chanterelles tossing until all coated in butter. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until wilted and tender. Season with salt and keep warm on low.


Sauteing Chanterelles

Seared Black Cod

2 thinly cut black cod steaks (about 3/4 lb total)

2 TB butter (or margarine if making lactose free)

Handful baby arugula for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Right after you’ve flipped the potato pancake to its second side it’s time to begin cooking the fish. In a cast-iron skillet melt the butter over moderately high heat until nearly smoking.

Steaks Searing

Steaks Searing

Brown the fish on each side until a nice brown crust forms, about 2-4 minutes per side, pending how hot you have your pan. Once you’ve browned the fish on both sides, put into the oven and finish cooking for 5 minutes.


The trick with this is to time it right. The mushrooms are pretty forgiving, so you can just have those cooking while you do the potatoes. The fish should be coming out right as the second side of the potato is complete and then to assemble simply make your tower by plating the pancakes, adding an arugula garnish if you like, adding the fish, topping with the chanterelles, and spooning any juices from the fish pan over on top.



  1. Saveur says:

    Looks like a wonderful way to cook black cod! 🙂

  2. Sam says:

    Those appear to be Hedgehog mushroom’s you have pictured. They have “teeth” on the underside. Chanterelles have ridges or gills.

    • Erina says:

      Hi Sam, thanks for reading! They were indeed chanterelles…but you’re right, they do look a little funny in the picture. If you end up making this I’ll be curious to hear what you think. Thanks!

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