Baked Cod with Bouillabaisse Sauce and Green Olive Tapenade

A wonderful sauce that is delicious with cod but would also be great with chicken. And you can make it ahead! It is elegant and exotic with the flavors of fennel, pernod, saffron. The recipe is from the April, 2017 issue of Food and Wine. I did not have **fish bones for the recipe so I skipped that step and added the water with a vegetable bouillon cube to make up for the fish bone stock.

6 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided up in recipe
1 large fennel bulb, 1 #, trimmed and finely chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 t. saffron threads
2 T. Pernod or Pastis
3/4 c. dry white wine
3/4 c dry vermouth (**I used white wine as I did not have but will get for the next time)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halved and smashed
1/2 t. cayenne
2 # white fish bones
2 t. lemon juice, plus more for drizzling
salt
4 six ounce cod fillets
Green Olive tapenade

1/4 c, pitted brined or oil cured green olives, finely chopped

2 T. rinsed and drained capers, finely chopped

2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper

In a large enameled cast iron casserole, heat 2 T of the olive oil. Add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saffron and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the Pernod and cook over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Add the wine and vermouth (**) and cook until the liquid is reduced by half about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cayenne and simmer over moderate heat until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet, and add the fish bones, cooking over moderate heat until browned, turning once, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bones to the casserole with 2 cups of water ad simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, covered. Let the sauce cool slightly and remove the fish bones. You can puree the sauce at this point with an immersion blender or leave as is.

Combine all ingredients for olive tapenade and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the fish with salt and refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes. Heat remaining 2 T. olive oil in a ovenproof skillet and cook the fish until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until opaque and cooked through.

Ladle the sauce into four shallow serving bowls and top with each fish. Spoon the tapenade over the fish and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.

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