Seared Cod with Spicy Mussel Aioli

If you love fish and mussels, this dish is really amazing.  The flavors of the seafood really shine, without a lot of work or ingredients.  The essential component to this dish is fantastic quality seafood.  Make sure to go to a local market that is known for their quality of fish, or Whole Foods.  Don’t but cheap quality, it will not taste as good and you risk not getting very good quality product, which ruins seafood for some people.  Also, be sure to clean your mussels very well.  Check out this video here for help: cleaning and sorting mussels

You will need:
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 dozen mussels
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
dash of cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
four 6-ounce skinless cod fillets
1 roasted bell pepper, cut into thin strips

Bring the wine to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Add the mussels, cover and cook over high heat, shaking the pan a few times, until they open, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Shell the mussels and reserve the liquid.  Rinse out the pan, then pour the mussel liquid back into the clean pan (without pouring in any grit at the bottom).

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise witht he garlic, parsley and lemon juice.  Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Season the cod with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.  Our trick to test that fish is done is to stick in a thin metal skewer into the center of the fish, pull it out and touch it to your lip.  If the metal is warm, the fish is done.

Meanwhile, bring the mussel liquid to a boil and quickly remove from heat.  Whisk in the mayonnaise, then stir in the mussels.  Transfer the cod to shallow bowls and spoon the mussels and sauce around it.  Garnish with the red pepper strips and serve.  This dish goes very will with simple, steamed asparagus.  Also, a hefty serving of crusty bread is a must to sop up the yummy sauce!

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
From: Eric Ripert, care of Food & Wine

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