Pan-Seared Black Cod with Morels and Asparagus

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles / Tasting Table

HOF Note: If morels are out of season, we would use either chanterelles or shiitake mushrooms. Neither of these mushrooms have the same woodsy flavor of morels, but they are delicious in this prep.

6 tablespoons butter, divided

2 shallots, minced

8 ounces morel mushrooms, cleaned

1 bunch (1 pound) pencil asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

¼ cup finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

Four 6-ounce wild black cod fillets, skins on

In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sweat until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the morels and continue to cook until tender, 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until lightly golden and tender, 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, the chives and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm until ready to serve.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the fillets with salt and pepper, then make a series of scores on their skins, 1 inch apart from each other. Cook each fillet, skin-side down, until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the fish and sear until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Using a slotted spoon, divide the mushrooms and asparagus between 4 plates and top each with a cod fillet, skin-side up. Spoon any remaining liquid in the mushroom pan over the cod and garnish with chopped chives, then serve.

Serves 4

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