Ode to Ramsay: Roasted Root Vegetables, Pan-Seared Cod, and Thyme Cream

After a delicious br/lunch at maze this weekend, I just had to try to recreate what I ate. Problem: I had chicken, and Clayton – who washed all the laundry, painted the bathroom, fixed the roof-deck, and basically slaved away for our house while I blew a huge wad on a girl’s trip to NYC – wanted and deserved fish. Cod is, in my opinion, the ocean’s chicken-fish, and luckily Whole Foods had some lovely filets for a lovely price. But the roasted diced root vegetables and the thyme cream was all Gordon Ramsay’s idea (although his was a veloute as opposed to a cream sauce, but I had no white stock to work with…)

Start with:

4 parsnips
2-3 medium carrots
2 turnips
1 lemon (ignore his friend)

1 large sweet potato (or yam)
2 medium onions

10-14 brussel sprouts

Peel all your roots, and trim your brussel sprouts.

Dice the carrots, turnips, parsnips, and sweet potato.  Toss into a large ceramic baking dish with your largely diced onion, brussell sprouts, and some salt and pepper. Coat all the veggies well with EVOO, and throw into a 400° oven for at least 40 minutes. Stir occasionally, just to keep all the surfaces moist and to sear in the heat.

Cod. It’s good.

Slice your cod into manageable pieces, and dredge with flour, salt, and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat…

… until it’s bubbling hot.

Set your fish into your hot fat, and sear well… for about 5 minutes…

… on each side.

Watercress. Gordon didn’t have this, but I wanted a bit of snap and fresh to offset the rich and rooty. I wash it well, and dress it simply with EVOO, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper.


… and heavy cream: the ingredients for my substitution for Gordon’s thyme veloute. Remove the cooked fish from the pan, and set aside in two portions, each on a warmed plate. Scrape any fish stuck to the pan out onto a plate for your husband to pick at, and then melt another tablespoon of butter, deglazing the surface. Add ½ cup of heavy cream and simmer for 3-5 minutes over medium high heat to thicken. Strip the leaves off several twigs of fresh thyme, and dump half of them into the simmering sauce to savor it, reserving the other half for a fresh garnish.

Meanwhile, your veggies should be perfectly cooked. Each bite is easily pierced with a small fork, and the outer leaves of the sprouts should be crisp and caramelized.

Plate your perfectly seared fish fingers like two needles of a compass, and spoon your sweet roasted diced roots over the pivot point like a blanket draped across a sleeper’s hips. Pinch a nosegay of watercress salad into a corner of the plate, and spoon the sweet thickened thyme cream around each savory bite.

Firm but flaky pan-seared cod filets served with diced caramelized root vegetables, and lovingly layered with a buttery thyme cream. Inspired by a my new celebrity crush, but (I dare say) perfected by me. If you’d like to disagree, Gordon, come on over and I’ll make you dinner in MY HAUS (said with gangsta-like conviction)!

3 thoughts on “Ode to Ramsay: Roasted Root Vegetables, Pan-Seared Cod, and Thyme Cream

  1. I would just add one thing. The thyme cream sounds like a great idea and it really is one of gordan’s favourite herbs. But sometimes it’s not quick and easy to get the full brunt of the flavour out.

    I would actually use pouring cream and a little milk (not much, maybe 50ml to 300ml of cream) then i would add a lot of thyme. Should still be cold.

    Gently season it, perhaps a very minute touch of nutmeg, and then gently heat it. Perhaps very gentle simmer for 15 mins (and i mean very gentle as rapid boiling or simmering will split the cream). It should reduce a fair bit. Then remove from heat and allow to cool in a cold bowl in a cold area for a good hour or two. I think the result would be a lush and heavily infused thyme cream. Often the difference between a great sauce and a delux 5star sauce is patience in allowing key flavours to penetrate.

    • Thanks, Matt. This will be something I’ll have to try on a weekend, when I like to indulge in slower cooking, instead of on a weeknight when I go for quick. But I will definitely try this; I’m all for intensity in flavors!

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