Food & Culture

Cooking in Quarantine: From the Chef of Loulay and Luc Bistro: Couscous and Alaskan Pollock

Light and savory, this dish blends the best of the Northwest with French and Middle Eastern cuisine

By Tricia Romano April 21, 2020


It’s going on who-knows-how-many-days of quarantine and we figure that, like us, you are tired of your own cooking. We asked local chefs to share some of their favorite safe-at-home foods to cook during the isolation period. Interested in submitting a recipe? Email [email protected].

“I’m focused on figuring out what’s next for both of our restaurants, Luc Bistro and Loulay Kitchen & Bar – while also trying not to freak out about this pandemic. Personally, I’m also doing cocktails or wine everyday and baking sourdough bread at home. Very fun.

Both restaurants are currently closed. The only thing I am almost sure of is this: it will not be business as usual. And I don’t think it will ever be as we knew it. But we can beat it, and we will prevail. Maybe I will become the Chef In The Beret instead.”

—Chef Thierry Rautureau is the Executive chef and owner of Luc Bistro and Loulay Kitchen & Bar, James Beard award-winning chef and Bravo ‘Top Chef Masters’ contender. “As of now, we are not offering delivery or gift cards, but most likely coming soon. Stay tuned at:”

Baked Wild Alaska Pollock with Olive Tapenade, Lemon Couscous, and Harissa Beurre Blanc

Ingredients: 4 Wild Alaska Pollock steaks (4-5 oz each), skin on (or off) and bone out

LEMON COUSCOUS: Couscous is a North African pasta made of semolina and water

  • 1 ½ cup couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 ½ cup water or broth (fish, chicken or vegetable)
  • 4 thin lemon slices in the water/broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

OLIVE TAPENADE: Tapenade is a blend of black and green olives, garlic, olive oil, and herbs chopped and mixed together. You can use it for a variety of dishes, but you can also purchase a quality prepared tapenade if you prefer.

  • 1 ½ cup pitted & chopped olives (mix of black & green)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons harissa (for spicier result, add more harissa)
  • 3 red bell peppers (roasted, skinned and diced small)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chive
  • ¾ Moroccan olive oil

HARISSA BEURRE BLANC: Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste. You can find it in small specialty grocery store or online.

  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 big shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 C of butter


Bring the water to a boil. Pour the water and olive oil and /or butter and lemon slices into a
medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Remove the pan from heat and pour in the couscous and salt. Stir to evenly moisten the couscous.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it sit for 10 minutes. If the couscous hasn’t absorbed the water or still tastes crunchy after this time, cover and let it sit for a few more minutes. Gently break apart and fluff the cooked couscous with a fork before serving. If the rest of dinner isn’t quite done, re-cover the pan after fluffing to keep the couscous warm. Pick the lemon slices out and use them for garnish on the couscous when serving.

Toss all the tapenade ingredients in a salad bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread all the tapenade on the top of all the Wild Alaska Pollock steaks padding gently so it stays atop. Let marinate for at least half an hour.

Turn on oven at 400 degrees.

On a cookie sheet, brush a little bit of olive oil and place the Wild Alaska Pollock steak apart from each other, just by an inch or so and place the tapenade side up. Bake for about eight minutes. Check with a pairing knife blade to ensure it is cooked. Place each of the Wild Alaska Pollock portion on top of the lemon couscous.

In a small sauce pan, pour in the wine, add the shallot and bring to a boil. Simmer it down to a quarter of what you started with. Add the cream and the harissa, cook on medium heat for about three minutes. Drop the butter one cube at a time while whisking the entire to create an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and strain thru a fine mesh sieve/strainer.

Pour the sauce around the Wild Alaska Pollock and couscous on all four plates. Serve warm.

Yields four servings

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