Herb-crusted Blue Cod with Champagne and Chive Sauce

11:30 am on 29 November 2010

From Fresh! by Peter Blakeway
Published by Hodder Moa

Blue cod from Southland is better than blue cod from anywhere else in New Zealand because the cold water temperature provides a perfect environment to produce the best flavour.

(Serves 8)


  • 8 blue cod fillets, skin off
  • 1 glass white wine (optional)

Soft herb crust

  • 175 g fresh white breadcrumbs (preferably brioche)
  • 80 g gruyère cheese, grated
  • 50 g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • seasoning

Champagne and chive sauce

  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • ¼ leek, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 300 ml fish stock (or chicken stock)
  • 300 ml champagne (or white wine)
  • 300 ml double cream
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • seasoning


To make the herb crust, place all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz until thoroughly mixed.

Spread out on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze uncovered.

To make the sauce, sauté shallots, leek and garlic in the olive oil. Add stock and champagne to the pan and boil to reduce to quarter of original volume.

In a second pan, boil cream to reduce to half the original volume.

Add stock mix to cream and hand-whisk. Add lemon juice, chopped chives and seasoning to taste. Set to one side in a warm place.

Cut herb crust into portions and place one on top of each Cooper’s Creek The Limeworks Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2009 $22 seasoned blue cod fillet. Place in an oiled roasting dish, pour wine over (optional) and bake at 180°C for 10–12 minutes or until topping is slightly golden and fish is firm to the touch and opaque.

Serve with the champagne and chive sauce.

Jo Burzynska’s wine recommendations 

Author of Wine Class: All you need to know about wine in New Zealand published by Random House.

Cooper’s Creek The Limeworks Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2009

Millton Vineyard Te Arai Gisborne Chenin Blanc 2008

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