If I am usually a French fanatic, this week I’m even more so. Tuesday is Bastille Day, or as it is known in France, La Fête Nationale, the commemoration of the beginning of the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille on July 14th 1780. The bastille, or prison, held seven prisoners at the time but it was important and symbolic of the rebellion and the need to overcome oppression. Just like the Tricolore flag it symbolized the Republic’s three ideals: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for all French citizens.
I love any excuse to prepare French cuisine and I love any reason to throw a party, so on Tuesday I’ll be joining my neighbors in celebrating Bastille Day and if you are inclined to do the same, try my delicious and incredibly easy and very impressive, Cod and Shrimp with Spring Pea Nage.
What is a nage, you ask? When you cook à la nage it translates to ‘while swimming’ and it signifies cooking in a flavorful bouillon. The term ‘nage’ now refers to a broth that is paired with the main dish and not just used for the preparation of the meal.
Spring Pea Nage
80 ml (3 oz) Olive Oil
1 Shallot, finely sliced
1 Garlic Clove, finely sliced
600 g (1 lb 5 oz) Fresh Peas
2.5 cups Vegetable Stock
Fresh Ground Pepper
Sea Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan, medium heat. Add your shallots, garlic and season well. Move to low heat and wait for the shallot to become soft and translucent.
Add the peas and stock to the pan with the onions and garlic and bring it to boil. Add a dash more salt and pepper and lower the heat to a gentle simmer until the peas are soft. Turn off the heat and add the sauce to a blender and puree. You can then push the mixture through a fine sieve to get a smoother result. For this dish, I didn’t use the sieve it depends on the consistency you want to achieve.
If you ever want to save this for later, it will keep up to 2 days in a sealed container in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.
Cod and Butter Sauce
4 x 200g (7 oz) Cod or White Fish filet
Salt, Pepper & Parsley
20 ml (3/4 oz) Grapeseed Oil
60 g (2 oz) Butter
Dash of Lemon Juice
4 tbsp White Wine
Take a pan and add your butter and wait for it to melt. Season your fish and add to the pan. As the fish cooks, keep an eye on it to check its color and when it is a light golden brown turn it over on the other side. Add a dash of lemon juice, grapeseed oil and the wine and continue to cook for another few minutes, basting the fish continuously. Add a dash more of your spices to the mix as you let it simmer.
In the photo, you can see that I added shrimp to this dish as well. If you do the same and you have pre-cooked shrimp, you can add it to the pan about midway through cooking as long as they are defrosted as you do not want to overcook them. If they are not pre-cooked, I would prepare them separately in a small pan with the same ingredients (of a smaller portion) and add them to the fish for plating.
Check that the fish is done by cutting into it at it’s thickest place as it should be slightly translucent.
Add the pea nage to the plate and place your fish on top. Add your shrimp and voila, you have a delicious dish that would make Gordon Ramsay proud. You can see, I have my paper towel and I’m cleaning the plate as my husband sets up the camera for me. Presentation is key, especially with a dish like this. You want to keep it elevated and a messy nage will do just the opposite!
It took me about 35 minutes to bring all of this together so it won’t keep you in the kitchen all night. I hope you enjoy it and if you make it, or are just celebrating Bastille Day, be sure and tag your creation with #wanderfullifestyle on Facebook and Instagram!