Poaching fish in an aromatic broth is classical French, but a style that has gone out of fashion. Or, has it? My suspicion is that many chefs use the poaching technique (Fume) for delicate white fish and then perhaps finish the poached fish in the sauté pan, in the oven, or even on the grill. The reason I say this is because it is difficult for home cooks to infuse much flavor into their fish with such short cooking times.
Our new favorite preparation is this quick and easy Fume. Unlike the classic French, we serve the fish in its poaching liquid giving it an almost Bouillabaisse or Cioppino style to it. We can get this dish to the table in less than 30 minutes which qualifies it for a weeknight supper. Add a crouton or crustini with pesto for dipping (as in our photo). May also be served over rice. For a variation, toss in some shrimp or scallops at the same time as the fish.
FISH POACHED IN FUME
YIELD: 4 Servings
PREP: 15 mins
COOK: 15 mins
READY IN: 30 mins
Classic French poaching technique (Fume) for delicate white fish
1 1/2 pounds white fish Cod works great
1 Tablespoons Butter unsalted. If salted, reduce the added salt
1 Stalk Celery diced
1 whole Carrot diced
1/2 Whole Yellow Onion sliced
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
1/2 Teaspoon herb de Provence Dried
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pinch Sea Salt
4 Grinds Black Pepper Fresh
1/2 Cup White Wine Dry – good enough to drink
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock Fresh or canned
1/2 Cup Italian flat-leaf parsley chopped
1 Whole Tomato chopped
Dice one stalk of celery, one carrot, then ½ of a whole onion sliced. Mince the garlic
Add 1 Tablespoon butter to a covered deep sauté pan. Add the vegetables. Add the dried herbs and peppers.
Sauté slowly (do not brown the vegetables) then add ½ cup white wine Add ½ cup chicken stock and bring to a slow boil. Add the tomato, remaining seasonings except parsley.
Immerse the fish and poach it covered for 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve immediately using shallow soup bowls or from a soup tureen. Garnish with parsley. Add a crouton.
SKILL LEVEL: Moderate