Cod has a mild, firm flesh that lends itself to a wide range of preparations. But Maine chef Mike Wiley is especially partial to poaching the fillets in olive oil. “The green, grassy oil perfumes the fish,” he said, “and the texture this technique achieves is remarkably luscious and light.”
It’s a gentle way of cooking, low and slow. “If your fillets are small you can even turn off the heat after adding them,” Mr. Wiley said. “Then watch, because they’ll be done in under 10 minutes.” You’ll know the fish Is overcooking if you see foamy white albumin, a protein, seeping out of the fillets—a sure sign it’s time to lift them out of the pot.
Here Mr. Wiley serves the cod on a bed of “couscous” made by pulsing blanched cauliflower in a food processor—“a great option for gluten-free guests,” he said. Tossed with a lemony dressing and plenty of mint and chives, it makes a bright, herbal counterpoint to the sumptuous fish.