Pan-fried cod, sweet potato, and morel, by chef Rougui Dia

Photo by Jasmine Van Hevel

Africa is where some of Rougui Dia’s culinary references come from, since it was her mother who first taught her to cook. From a family of seven children, Rougui considers togetherness to be an integral part of gastronomy. She can’t imagine a meal without that festive air that invariably accompanies African family gatherings.

This being said, there’s nothing this chef loves more than mixing influences and flavors, drawing inspiration from her travels. Other than hints of Africa and a must-have “French touch”, Rougui Dia’s dishes also have a little Caribbean flair and a subtle fragrance of India.

To brighten up these long days of confinement, here is one of the unpretentious and yet exquisite dishes that she made for us for New Year’s Eve in our 2nd issue, that is easy to prepare ahead of time: “That’s important for me,” she says. “As a child, I remember my mother spending lots of time cooking and not really being able to enjoy the evening or be with her guests. I found that really unfortunate… ”

Pan-fried cod, sweet potato, and morel

for 2 people


1 sweet potato

50g of butter

70g of morels

1 glass of sake

40 g of fried onions

2 cod filets, 120g each

Light cream



50g of peanuts

A half-container of aragula

Light cream


Bake the sweet potato, covered in aluminium foil, for 2 hours at 180°c.

Put the dried morels in cold water to rehydrate them and let them sit for 10 minutes so that any sand settles to the bottom of the bowl.

Put the morels in a pot with three quarters of the water they soaked in; dispose of the remaining water with the sand.
Cook the morels until almost all the water is gone. Add the sake and let it reduce by half before adding the fried onions. Add cream and seasoning to taste. Let the sauce reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
In a pan, brown the dry peanuts (without oil or butter) and crush them.

When the sweet potato is cooked, remove the skin and mix it with salted butter.
Pan fry the cod with butter, being careful to not overcook it.
For plating, spoon the morel sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts. Garnish with a few leaves of arugula before serving.

Bon appétit!


Le French

(720) 710-8963
4901 S. Newport St.
Denver, CO 80237, USA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *