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Roasted Cod with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Apple Butter and Cider Vinaigrette
By by Chef John Schaefer of Irving Mill, from New York Cooks, by Joan Krellenstein and Barbara Winkler

The homespun ambience of Irving Mill is reflected in the food, which could be called "updated rustic." That update shows up in Chef Schaefer's cod, a dish he animates with a fruity cider vinaigrette and a spicy apple butter.

Ingredients:

For The Apple Butter:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into wedges
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup apple juice

For The Vegetables:

Cooking oil
2 cups Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into uniform 2-inch pieces
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

For The Cider Vinaigrette:

1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For The Cod:

4 (4 to 6 ounce) cod fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Melted butter for basting

Instructions:

To Make The Apple Butter:

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until apples are tender. Remove star anise and cinnamon stick. Puree mixture in a blender. The "butter" will resemble apple sauce. Set aside.

To Make The Vegetables:

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large, ovenproof sauté pan coated with oil, place all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Place pan in the oven and roast until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pan and let cool.

To Make The Cider Vinaigrette:

Bring apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan, lower heat and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat. Mix 2 tablespoons of the cider reduction with the cider vinegar. Add the olive oil. Season to taste and add more reduction if needed.

To Make The Cod:

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Season the cod fillets and place in a sauté pan with cooking oil. When fish is lightly golden, place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Baste with fresh thyme and melted butter mixture.

To Serve:

Place the roasted vegetables on the side of the dish with a scoop of apple butter beside them. Place cod next to the vegetables and drizzle the cider vinaigrette over the cod and the vegetables.

Yield: Serves 4

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