By Christie Vanover | Published June 11, 2013 | Last Updated February 20, 2015
I had a tough time with this week’s MasterChef Mystery Box Challenge. Honestly, if I were on the show, the chefs would have asked me to turn in my apron because my first recipe attempt was a flop. There are no second chances on MasterChef, but if there were, I think my second creation would have kept me in the game.
The ingredients were great basics in Asian cooking: Rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, miso paste, shitake mushrooms, snow peas, panko breadcrumbs, black cod, black and white sesame seeds, baby beets, ginger, cauliflower and berries.
Black cod by the way is not like the cod you get in fish and chips. I learned that while researching this fish. It’s sometimes called butterfish, and in my opinion, it’s slimier than I like, but the taste is mild.
With my first attempt at the challenge, I went Asian. I made Asian fish tacos with sweet rice flour sesame seed tortillas, miso poached cod, chili paste mayo and snow pea beet slaw.
The problem…the tortillas were crisp on the outside and gummy on the inside. And the cod, well that’s when I learned it is slimy. “Christie, please turn in your apron.”
Determined to figure this out, I left Asia and came back to America, to Louisiana to be exact. I’ve wanted to post a recipe for Catfish Courtboullion for a couple of years. I have just never gotten around to it.
Courtboullion is a Cajun gravy made with the trinity (onion, celery and green pepper) and tomato sauce. My sister-in-law adds in cream of mushroom soup, too. I used the shitake mushrooms and real cream after making a roux with the trinity.
This dish is a play on her recipe. Instead of stewing the fish in the sauce like she does, I dusted the cod with Creole seasoning and pan fried it.
I served it atop a garlic miso rice pilaf. Adding miso to your rice water gives the rice lots of flavor. For a final bright crunch, I added a snow pea slaw tossed in Tabasco vinaigrette.
The result was much better. The rice, sauce and slaw were great…but I’m still not a fan of this fish. Maybe the catch I bought was not as good a quality as the catch they cooked on MasterChef. I’d be willing to try again.
I was impressed with the MasterChef’s contestants’ dishes. Chef Ramsay even showed off his talent preparing a beautiful dish in under 30 minutes. Watch for yourself here. Don’t forget to tune in Wednesday on Fox to see the next Mystery Box revealed.
Shitake Courtboullion Sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ cup green pepper, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup cream
- 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp. Creole seasoning
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Saute the trinity (onion, pepper and celery) for about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, until soft.
Stir in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in the cream, tomato sauce, wine, water, seasoning and salt. Reduce heat to low and let simmer.
Garlic Miso Rice Pilaf
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon miso
- ½ tsp. kosher salt.
Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes, until the butter coats the rice.
In a glass pitcher, whisk together the miso, water and salt and microwave for 1 minute. Pour the water into the rice pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove lid and fluff with fork.
Cajun Black Cod
- 4 4-6-oz. filets of black cod
- about 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- ¼ cup oil
Pat dry the filets and sprinkle with seasoning on all sides.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the filets skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until cooked through.
Snow Pea Slaw with Tabasco Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 15 fresh snow peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, oil and Tabasco sauce. Julienne the snow peas. Toss the peas and green onion in the sauce.
Ladle about ¾ cup sauce onto a plate and spread into a large circle.
Top with about ¾ cup rice.
Add a filet on top, skin side down.
Top with a pinch of slaw.
Garnish with sliced green onions.
This recipe was amazing! Didn’t have black cod so just used regular cod. It is easily one of the best things I’ve made in ages! Thanks!