Ring in the New Year with this Flavorful and Rich Saffron Cod Dish

The New Year is a time to look back and reflect on the past year, as well as a time to look ahead and make goals for the year to come. Whether you are ringing in the new year with friends, family, or loved ones this Cod Fillet with Saffron Hollandaise sauce is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! This rich French Hollandaise sauce is flavored with Zaffrus saffron, adding a delightful, mystical touch of flavor. Spoon the sauce over the poached fish fillets. In place of cod, you can use any other mild-tasting, firm white fish or salmon.

Because Hollandaise sauce can be finicky to make—if the eggs get too hot, they curdle, and if the sauce is too hot or too cold, the eggs and butter separate—cook the fish first, then tackle the sauce. And once the sauce is ready, serve it at once.

cod fish saffron


  • 4 cod fillets, about 5 ounces each
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 shallot or ¼ small red onion, sliced
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Hollandaise sauce:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Zaffrus saffron powder capsules or 2/3 teaspoon Zaffrus saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • Salt


  1. Rinse the fish under cold water. In a deep skillet large enough to fit the fish in a single layer, combine wine, water, shallot, parsley, and bay leaf. Add the fish and slowly bring it to a simmer.
  1. Cover and simmer until the fish is flaky and no longer translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the poaching liquid to keep it warm.
  1. For the Hollandaise sauce, have a double boiler ready or place a stainless steel bowl over a pot with about 1 inch of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not have any contact with the water, or the eggs will get too hot and curdle.
  1. Vigorously whisk the egg yolks, saffron, and lemon juice until thick and visibly increased in volume. Slowly add the melted butter in a thin stream while continuing to whisk vigorously until the sauce is thick and about doubled in volume. Remove it from the heat and salt to taste.
  1. Take the fish out of the poaching liquid and serve it with the sauce immediately.



If the sauce splits, i.e. the butter and the eggs separate, it is either too hot or too cold. If too hot, whisk in a few drops of cold water. If too cold, return the sauce to the heat and whisk in a few tablespoons of hot water until the sauce becomes smooth again.

Makes 4 servings

Photo Credit: Ted Rosen