Merci encore à Alain Ducasse – Cabillaud en beurre d’herbes, shiitake et concassée de tomates


This recipe has been adapted from an Alain Ducasse‘s recipe, one of my favorite chefs…yes I know I keep repeating this and will do so anytime I prepare something from his kitchen, because I am such a huge fan of his.

The recipe has been modified a little in the sense that I needed girolles mushrooms, since I couldn’t find any and a drive to whole foods was not an option, I used shiitake. The other ingredients I did not use was the ham in the beurre d’herbes, so I did not add ham but I will add it to the ingredients’ list and people can either decide to add it or not. Other than that I followed the recipe “à la lettre” (meaning word per word).

I was offered this book called “La Cuisine de Ducasse par Sophie” a few Christmas back and once in a while and dig into it to try its wonderful recipes. They’re not too time-consuming but most of all, the recipes are focusing on flavors and simplicity.

Basically, any white fish with a dense flesh works in this recipe, so that when you serve it it doesn’t fall apart. The exciting part of this dish are really two things. Don’t you think that there is always an exciting aspect to a dish, either an ingredient, or a method of cooking, but just something? Here is the beurre d’herbes, and the garlic. Beurre d’herbes (herb-butter) is a mixture of herbs, nuts, condiments, citrus and of course butter “demi-sel” (so you need a good quality butter) and it is absolutely divine. It makes me want to make a jar of beurre d’herbes, cook it in the oven and eat it with a spoon. Then the garlic gloves have been “confites” meaning candied, slowly cooked for over an hour with herbs. The great thing about this garlic is that you can make a batch and keep them in a jar in the refrigerator and use them when needed.

Beurre demi-sel (half salted butter) contains between 0.5 g and 3 g of salt per 100 grams of butter vs. beurre salé (salted butter) contains over 3 g of salt per 100 grams of butter. Usually in those butters, different types of  high valued salts have been incorporated such as Guérande salt, Noirmoutier salt, fleur de sel, etc…In the US you can find Beurre D’Isigny as a demi-sel, whole Foods sells it. A great quality butter makes an incredible difference.

Tomato concassée is quite straight forward, concasser means to chop roughly, not in tiny pieces so that’s what happened to those tomatoes. It’s a common French culinary word used to describe how something has been cut.

Ingredients for 6

For the fish and side

  • 6 cod fillets or any dense white fish (about 6.34 oz or 180 g each)
  • 8 tomatoes on the vine, seedless, peeled and roughly cut
  • 10.50 oz (or 300 g) girolles mushrooms or shiitake
  • 1 bunch basil (keep 12 leaves for decoration)
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, candied
  • salt and pepper

For the herb-butter

  • 5.30 oz (or 150 g) butter, soft, demi-sel
  • 1 oz (or 30 g) almonds, chopped
  • 1 oz (or 30 g) walnuts, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp strong Dijon mustard a l’ancienne
  • 1 thin slice ham (Jabugo or Serrano), cubed
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbs mixed herbs, chopped (parsley, chives, chervil)
  • salt and pepper

For the candied garlic batch

  • 30 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • olive oil


For the herb-butter

Mix lemon zest with the butter and all other ingredients.

For the tomato concassée and mushrooms

Heat 2 tbs olive oil, add tomatoes and let them cook at medium heat  until the water evaporates. Add salt and pepper. In another pan, saute mushrooms in 1 tbs olive oil at high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add 15 basil leaves, chopped, salt and pepper and mix well.

Mix tomatoes and mushrooms and candied garlic. Adjust seasoning and keep warm.

For the candied garlic

Cover garlic with olive oil, add herbs and cook slowly for about 1h30 min in a small covered pot. When cooked, pour in a jar with the olive oil and place in the refrigerator for future use.

Finishing and presentation

Pre-heat oven at 240C on circular heat mode. Add salt and pepper to the cod fillets. Spread herb-butter on top of the fillets and cook for about 10 minutes. Place tomato-mushroom mixture in the center of plates. Add cod on top. Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel and basil and serve immediately.