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In The Kitchen With: Anna Watson Carl’s Sear-Roasted Cod

by Kristina Gill

I’ve been doing more cooking than usual lately, and one of the dishes I’ve most enjoyed has been with cod.  We’ve done very few fish recipes on the column that didn’t involve the grill…in fact, we’ve done grilled scallops, a whole roasted fish, and a catfish curry.  So I thought it would be nice to add blogger Anna Watson Carl’s recipe for sear-roasted cod with carrot puree, Brussels sprouts and bacon that can be pulled together in under half an hour.  I realize we are a bit out of season with the Brussels sprouts, so Anna suggests substituting with one and a half cups of fresh peas or fava beans if you can’t find any Brussels sprouts.  –Kristina

About Anna: Anna Watson Carl is a Manhattan-based cook and writer, and the author of the blog The Yellow Table. Her work has appeared in Wall Street Journal Magazine, TIME, Food & Wine, Gourmet Live, Travel+Leisure, New York, and Huffington Post, and she has worked in the test kitchens of Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, Real Simple, and others. She is currently working on her first cookbook, a collection of 100 simple, healthy recipes to share around the table. All of the recipes for the book were developed, tested and shot in Anna’s 6th-floor-walkup apartment over the course of six months, a journey documented in The Cookbook Diaries. The book, which will be released this fall, will feature Signe Birck’s stunning photography and wine pairings by former Daniel sommelier Jean-Luc Le Du.  You can find Anna’s  recipe for pasta with ramps, asparagus and arugula in our archives.

See how easy it is to make Anna’s sear-roasted cod after the jump!



Sear-roasted cod with carrot puree, Brussels sprouts and bacon
Serves 4

Don’t be intimidated by the different components in this dish. It’s all really easy to put together, and the carrot puree can be made in advance.


  • 8 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • Juice of 1/2 orange (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon
  • 2 cups Brussels sprout leaves
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 5-ounce pieces of skinless cod (or halibut)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the carrots in a medium-size pot and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Place the cooked carrots in a food processor with the orange juice and about half a teaspoon of salt. Process until smooth and slowly add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, with the motor running. Taste and adjust seasoning. (If you don’t have a food processor, use a food mill, blender, or an immersion blender.) MAKE AHEAD: You can make this the day before. Keep covered and chilled and reheat before serving.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the Brussels sprout leaves and cook for 3 minutes or until bright green and beginning to wilt. Add the white wine and let simmer until it evaporates. Remove from heat and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Season the cod with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, and add the cod pieces (skin-side down). Sear the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, or until a nice brown crust forms. Carefully flip the fish and place the pan in the oven. Cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily.
  5. To serve: Place about half a cup of carrot puree in the center of each plate. Top with a piece of cod and spoon the Brussels sprout bacon mixture over each piece of fish.  Serve immediately.




(Food photography by Signe Birck, portrait by Nate Poekert)

Why Anna loves this recipe
I first created this for a dinner party, wanting to make something with bright flavors and beautiful presentation, yet still relatively healthy. I love the combination of creamy, sweet carrot puree (with a hint of orange), seared cod, salty bacon and earthy Brussels sprouts. Though it may look like it’s a lot of work, it’s actually quite easy with a little planning: the puree can be made the day before and reheated, and you can prep the rest of the ingredients earlier in the day. Once guests arrive, all you have to do is quickly saute the bacon and Brussels sprouts, sear the cod, and plate everything.


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