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Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Polenta Crusted Atlantic Cod

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


This recipe is a great combination of two different territories which creates and intriguing and flavorful dish. The Atlantic cod, or Gadus morhua, is a deep water fish, living at depths of 1,300 feet or more. Atlantic cod live on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in cold water. They are part of the ground fish species that live on the shallower parts of the ocean floor.

The blood orange is an increasingly popular kind of orange with red pulp that gives it its name. The blood orange is not as large as a typical navel orange, and some varieties of the fruit also have darker colorings on the outer rind. Blood oranges are less acidic than navel oranges, and are enjoyed by many as a fresh fruit choice.

The red-colored pulp is created from a pigment that often colors other fruit and a large variety of flowers. The darkness of the blood orange is dependent on several factors, including the variety of blood orange, the temperatures in which it was grown and the amount of light it received while growing. Initially planted in Sicily, blood orange is available nationally, mainly from California and Florida.

Polenta Crusted Atlantic Cod with Blood Orange Sauce

Servings:  4


• 2 tbsp potato starch flour

• 4tbsp fine polenta (corn meal)

• Grated zest ½ orange + extra for garnish

• 1 tbsp thyme leaves

• 2 lb. sustainable Atlantic cod fillets, skinned and boned

• 1 egg, beaten

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter + extra for blood orange sauce

• 2 tbsp olive oil + extra for vegetable base

• 4 oz. baby spinach

• 12 spring asparagus, stems removed, sliced

• 1 medium size zucchini, small diced

• 12 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

• 1 shallot, minced

Blood orange sauce

• 1 cup blood orange juice

• Pinch of saffron

• 2 oz. dry white wine


• Mix the flour, polenta, orange zest and thyme leaves together with some seasoning. Dip the fillets in the beaten egg then roll in the polenta mix to coat. The fish can now be chilled for 20 minutes before you're ready to cook.

• Meanwhile, in a large pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add shallot, and wilt the spinach, asparagus, zucchini and tomatoes for 5 minutes. Lightly season with salt and black pepper and reserve water from vegetables. Divide between 4 plates, keep warm and set aside.

• Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan until foaming, add the fillets and lower the heat. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Keep hot.

Blood orange sauce

• In medium skillet blend the vegetable water, blood orange juice, saffron and white wine. Bring to a boil, add a small cube of butter and reduce by half.

• Place fish on top of vegetable base, drizzle blood orange sauce over top and garnish with orange zest.

Note: Other white fish of preference may be used as substitute.


Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." www.chefwalter.com / http://www.chefwalter.blog.com/


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