Home Recipes by RegionEastern European FoodRussian Food Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

by Florian
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Russian Food - Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

Since I first wrote about Pomor cuisine here, I’ve already posted two cod recipes from the Russian Far North: a cod fish soup, and cod and potato fritters. But the Pomors aren’t nicknamed cod-eaters for nothing, and I wanted to make a third climactic dish, one that combines cod in many different forms:

  • Fresh fish fillets, cooked sous-vide because it’s the best way to avoid overcooking them and having to watch their flaky flesh disintegrate while serving.
  • Salt cod, whose trade was once so prominent in the region’s economy, and which I also used in my aforementioned cod and potato fritters.
  • Cod roe, an ingredient that I’ve never encountered in anything but Greek taramosalata, turned here into an equally pink but entirely natural hollandaise that shall be my contribution to Pomor cuisine’s famed sauce repertoire.

If you go back to my review of Arkhangelsk restaurant Pochtovaya Kontora, you might notice that I’ve borrowed elements from many of their recipes, modified them, and assembled them into this dish: cod fillet sous-vide is already on their menu; some of their fish dishes come with potato croquettes that I’ve turned into cod-potato fritters; and the cod roe hollandaise is inspired by one of the sauces they serve with cod that I couldn’t really identify. There’s even an appetizer on the PK menu consisting of beets, lettuce leaves, walnuts, and goat cheese mousse – and don’t go telling me that goat cheese isn’t Russian: with the current sanctions and general Russian cheese craze, all of their cheese is more than likely made in Russia.

To finish the dish, I’m serving a beet and goat cheese salad as a side. I could have extended the cod theme by adding chunks of cod liver, I just haven’t had a chance to try it. Still, I’m quite satisfied with the current result: the great variety of textures, the unusual beige-white-pink-purple color palette, the balance of the five tastes (saltiness from the fritters and the cod roe, sweetness and bitterness from the beets, sourness from the hollandaise, and, to a lesser degree, umami from the beets and goat cheese).

Russian Food - Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

The recipe may look daunting at first. You need a deep fryer, two water baths, a siphon… But if you’re organized, it’s much easier than it seems. It helps to remember that deep fryers and water baths are just glorified pots whose temperature is controlled with a thermometer – no need to raid the restaurant kitchen store around the corner. And think about all the things you don’t need at plating time: no saucepan or frying pan, no stovetop oven where you have to keep all your food warm without overcooking it. Here, once all your preparations are sitting pretty in their bowls and water baths, you can take your sweet time, as it makes no difference if they sit for another ten minutes!

Cod roe (salted) can be purchased in tins from Russian stores like this one, or you can look for tarama (not to be confused with taramosalata) in glass jars at gourmet stores. Xanthan gum (for the hollandaise) is available here.

Russian Food - Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

Beet and goat cheese salad
Yields 4 servings

230 g small peeled cooked red beets, quartered
35 g peeled red onion, very thinly sliced
15 g preserved lemon, brunoise
20 g olive oil
salt
black pepper, ground
85 g fresh goat cheese, crumbled
6 g parsley, finely chopped

  • Place the beets, onion, and preserved lemon in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix with a spatula.
  • Before serving, sprinkle the goat cheese and parsley, and gently fold into the salad. Don’t overdo it, or the salad will turn into a purple mess!
Russian Food - Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Cod roe hollandaise
Yields 4 servings

100 g red wine vinegar
40 g peeled shallots, thinly sliced
30 g peeled cooked red beet, small dice
190 g egg whites
80 g butter, sliced
65 g milk
20 g lemon juice
150 g cod roe
2.2 g xanthan gum

  • Combine the vinegar and shallots in a small saucepan, and reduce by half over high heat.
  • Strain the vinegar reduction, and weigh 45 g of the liquid, discarding the rest.
  • Place the vinegar reduction, red beet, egg whites, butter, milk, and lemon juice in a sous-vide pouch. Cook in a 75 C / 167 F water bath for 25 minutes.
  • Transfer the contents of the pouch to a blender. Add the cod roe and xanthan gum, and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Transfer to a one-liter siphon, and charge with two cartridges of N2O. Shake several times, then reserve in a  65 C / 150 F water bath until serving.
Russian Food - Cod Roe Hollandaise

Cod sous-vide
Yields 4 servings

520 g cod fillet, cut into 4 portions
salt
black pepper, ground
30 g butter

  • Season the cod with salt and pepper, then place each portion in a sous-vide pouch with a piece of butter. Vacuum-seal, and cook in a 41 C / 106 F water bath for 30 minutes – you can use a large pot filled with hot water and control the temperature with a thermometer.
  • Keep the fish (in the pouches) in the water bath until serving.
Russian Food - Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

Assembly
Yields 4 servings

12 Pomor cod and potato fritters
cod sous-vide
beet and goat cheese salad
cod roe hollandaise

  • Finish frying all the cod and potato fritters, and reserve in a bowl lined with paper towels.
  • Take the cod pieces out of their sous-vide pouches, and drain on paper towels.
  • On each plate, arrange the following elements in a circle: beet and goat cheese salad, cod (carefully transferred using a fish spatula), hollandaise (dispensed from the siphon into a tall mound). Place a cod fritter between each one of these preparations, three per plate. Serve immediately!
Russian Food - Pomor Cod Sous-Vide, Cod-Potato Fritters, Cod Roe Hollandaise

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