2 cod fillets, 7-8oz each
4 holland leeks, halved and rinsed
1 belgian endive, base removed and tops reserved
1 cup parsley leaves
2 cups white grapes
2 cups verjus
½ tsp agar-agar
5 tbsp green peppercorns
¼ cup cream
3 cups mussel stock
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
For the parfait
In a large braising pan, slowly simmer 3¾ of the leeks in salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the leeks from the liquid and allow them to cool. Once cooled, line the leeks in a 5 inch by 12 inch plastic lined mould. Set the mould aside. In a blender, purée the grapes (setting 1-2 grapes aside) with the verjus and pass through a chinois. Place the passed liquid in a saucepan. Put ½tsp of agar-agar into the liquid and bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Once the liquid comes to the boil, pour it over the top of the leeks and set the parfait in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. After the parfait has completely cooled down, carefully remove from the mould and cut into a 5in x 1in rectangle. Take 1 grape cut into quarters, and place on top of the rectangle of parfait. Set the parfait aside.
For the green peppercorn purée & marinière
Blanch the parsley leaves and purée the blanched leaves with 2tbsp of the green peppercorns, using just enough water to get the blender spinning. Set the purée aside in a squirt bottle. In a medium-sized pan, sweat the shallots with the remaining sliced leeks and green peppercorns in butter until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the white wine and allow the wine to reduce by half. Next, add the mussel stock and cream and allow the aromatics to gently simmer in the stock for about 10-12 minutes. Strain the sauce through a chinois and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
For the endive
In a sauté pan, brown 1tbsp of butter and gently wilt the tops of the endive in the butter. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Season the cod with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, sear the cod for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until a metal skewer is warm to the touch when it is inserted and removed from the center of the fish. While the fish is cooking, take a round plate and make a straight line with the green peppercorn purée. On the left side of the line, place the rectangle of parfait perpendicular to the puree. Once the fish is cooked, place the fish above and on the right side of the purée. Place the endive tops on top of the fish and pour 2-3tbsp of the green peppercorn marinière on the plate. Serve immediately.
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Image © Shimon & Tammar; William Hereford