Kona Kampachi in Cognac Cream Sauce

Since my wife has no appetite for fish at the moment, I was alone in tackling that whole Kona Kampachi that Kona Blue had so generously sent my way. I had actually been eating fish for four days straight until I had finished it (I couldn’t dare put that wonderful fish in the freezer), but I thought I’d give you, readers a break from fish for a while, hence the gap from the other Kona Kampachi dishes I’d prepared. So here we are, the very last of my fish. This is a simple and straightforward preparation, the Kona Kampachi is sautéed in butter and topped with a cognac cream sauce.

Since I’d tried this fish cooked in many forms (raw, marinated/”chemically” cooked, and broiled), I thought I should see what its like in a good old butter sauté. Sure enough, every approach let the fish shine in surprisingly distinct ways, but I think this was actually the least exciting of the bunch to me (but don’t get me wrong though, this was still very good–I just would opt for broiling/high heat searing next time).

The fish was rich and tender, well complimented by the cream sauce. I would have added a pinch of saffron had I not run out, but alas, the color was a great hue of orange nonetheless. The sauce was light, bright, tasty, and surprisingly delicate–just enough to add flavor without stealing attention from the fish. This would work well with any firm white fish and a medium bodied white wine, perfect for a light lunch.

  • knob of butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ~1/2 lb Kona Kampachi
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 celery stalk
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • handful of thyme
  • handful of parsely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cream

Get everything ready. For the sauce, finely dice up the carrot, celery, shallot, and herbs. Portion the fish.

Begin by sautéing the carrot, celery, and shallot in butter for about 10 minutes to soften them up a bit. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cognac, scraping up any brown bits. Add in the herbs, squeeze in the lemon juice, and simmer for 5-10 minutes or so.

Now, puree the sauce in your food processor and strain it to keep things looking good. Add the cream, continue to simmer until you’re happy with the thickness of the sauce, and season to taste.

As the sauce is just about done, its time to do the fish. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and simply sauté it in butter until cooked to the desired doneness. I did about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve the fish over a mound of spaghetti squash, top with the sauce, and dig in.


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26 Responses to “Kona Kampachi in Cognac Cream Sauce”

  1. the caked crusader Says:

    Fish cooked simply in butter is always a hit with me! Never heard of that fish though….I learn something new every day!

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    A fish that is so fresh and wonderful on the first couple of days probably becomes a bit more ordinary, no matter how well it is stored, by the third day. I wonder how this would have been in a fish stew — probably just perfect. You really did get mileage out of that kona kampachi!

  3. RecipeGirl Says:

    That must have been some big fish! You’ve done some amazing things with it for sure :)

  4. Heather Says:

    looks beautiful! a cognac cream sauce sounds like a perfect fall dish :)

  5. mikky Says:

    it may be the least exciting of the bunch to you, but it sure does look delicious to me… :)

  6. cakewardrobe Says:

    I’m probably not going to go out looking for the Kona Kampachi tonight.. but I will definitely make this dish tonight substituting a different fish. It looks as if it comes together beautifully!

  7. Peter Says:

    I like that you approached the dish with the notion of complementing the fish’s flavour, not to hide it.

    Butter, cognac, cream – what’s not to like?

  8. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    I’m so happy you were able to enjoy so many wonderful meals from the Kona Kampachi fish, Mike. This one sounds fabulous.

  9. Hélène Says:

    I could eat fish everyday of the week. I’m not much of a meat eater. Lovely combination.

  10. pam Says:

    The sauce sounds amazing! I love the prep shot! How is your wife doing?

  11. Sandie Says:

    You had me at Cognac Cream Sauce. The fact that you served it atop this stunning piece of fish is just icing on the cake! (Love your 2nd photo with this post, it just looks so fresh & gorgeous.)

  12. noble pig Says:

    And it’s divine….can I use more than knob of butter if I choose?

  13. Lisa Says:

    This looks wonderful. I had a whole fish shipped to me last month and loved everything about it.

  14. kittie Says:

    Cognac cream + fish … must try!!

  15. Dee Says:

    Mike, I think this is porbably my favourite fish recipe of the lot. Nothing beats a good cognac cream sauce for sure! And your photos – especially the second one – are stunning!

  16. Sam Says:

    Cognac cream sauce sounds gorgeous! You’ve done some great things with this fish.

  17. Judy Says:

    Looks delicious Mike. I love that cream sauce!

  18. Ginny Says:

    Delicious! If you ever need anyone to take some fish off your hand, just let me know! I love this sauce! :)

  19. Choosy Beggar Tina Says:

    Okay, so I just read ALL of your Kona Kampochi posts, and these are my feelings:
    1) I wish that *I* got free fish!!
    2) Dude, you’re awesome.
    3) Ceviche…oh, sweet grapefruit scented ceviche…..
    4) Spaghetti squash? Have we met? No? Because….because I love him….don’t tell MY Mike, he’ll get upset…..
    5) How have I never found your blog before?!

  20. Toni Says:

    Funny that this should be your least favorite – it looks divine to me. I love simple. This is simple and elegant with the cognac. I’m with Lydia on the idea of a fish stew – keeps the magic going when the fish is beginning to bore….

    But since no one has sent me any fish lately, I doubt if this would bore me!!!!

  21. Coffee and Vanilla Says:

    Mike I love idea of using spaghetti squash with this dish!

  22. Jude Says:

    That has to be the neatest mise I’ve seen. Well, at least compared to the messy area in my house called the kitchen.
    Another elegant recipe.. :) Good stuff.

  23. shayne Says:

    oh wow I jsut went and did some reading on Kona and all your posts and I have to say the ceviche sounds the best and I am jealous and wish I could have spent the week you had this visiting you.

    Oh an other note I did notice the repeated use of what looks like spaghetti squash and now I an craving Kona and spaghetti squash…see what you did to me with all you great food posts.

  24. [eatingclub] vancouver || js Says:

    I like that cognac cream sauce. Haven’t tried kona kampachi before, but this one looks darn good.

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