Just about every cook agrees that poaching fish (especially in court-bouillon) is a great way to gently apply heat without stripping away moisture from the food while at the same time allowing for delicate flavors to be incorporated as well. Lately, I have been craving all kinds of seafood but a standard poach didn't seem to ignite my tastebuds. This time I thought I would try something new. Something I have never done.
This time, I poached entirely with olive oil.
I wouldn't recommend using your finest green-gold for this as heat, as gentle as it may be, will deafen the fruity notes that your hard earned cash gave its life for. But I would still use an inexpensive extra virgin olive oil. To add some flavor, I heat a smashed clove of garlic in the oil. The oil should come to a temperature of around 140F. Allowing the garlic to infuse with the oil for five to ten minutes with bring out the most flavor. Herbs can also be added at this time, but I wanted to keep it simple. And it can be good to keep this simple as I plan on saving this oil for future poachings and I'd like to keep future options open.
About eight minutes later, out came a very tender piece of cod. We're talking falling apart tender. The fish absorbed some of that great garlic and olive oil flavor and stayed incredibly moist throughout. A little salt and pepper, and the fish was ready to meet its new nieghbors. In this case: a fava bean/ricotta mash and some roasted beets.