July 18, 2006

Beatin' the heat with fresh local fare - Black Cod with Basil Cream Sauce

Your heroine is picky about the weather. She doesn't like rain (unless she can curl up in front of a fire with a blanket and a book). Three months later, she's growing weary of an unseasonably hot bay area summer. Six Spare the Air days already this summer and she's looking for a shady respite from the heat. Or at least a dinner option that doesn't involve the oven or the stove competing with the air conditioner...

Thursday's have kind of become my defacto "local night". I've been excited about the prospect this week; I have a variety of locally procured ingredients with which to play. With a gorgeous fillet of black cod caught off of the Marin coast as my protein source, I did little web surfing for ideas and opted to use an Emeril creation as the inspiration behind tonight's dinner.

I started with about a half pound of the aforementioned black cod, which I sprinkled lightly with salt and sauteed in a combination of local butter and olive oil.

Several of my coworkers and close friends are gardeners, so I've been the lucky recipient of a lot of their bounty. I tossed a big bunch of basil from one of the women in finance in the mini-chopper with a clove of garlic and some pine nuts leftover from my corn creation; ground them to a pulp while drizzling in about a tablespoon of olive oil.

I removed the fish from the pan and deglazed with about a quarter cup of white wine. After adding the pesto mixture, I tossed in about 4 tablespoons of half-and-half to "cream up" the sauce.

On the side I served a salad featuring greens from my finance friend and tomatoes from another industrious gardener who dances with us on Sundays.

Turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself. I've got about a half cup of extra pesto sauce that will go great over gnocchi or ravioli this weekend.

Now will someone please turn down the heat a bit?

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