Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cod, this is Good!


PICTURED:  Balsamic and Vermouth Baked Cod with Onion, Pepper and Tomato 
I promised those who are looking for a more “traditional” healthy recipe that I would make a baked cod dish tonight.  Instead of writing out a recipe, I thought I’d bring it to you by way of the camera.  If you want the full recipe, feel free to visit the discussion threads on Facebook: 

You will want to go there anyway.  Dan's cousin, Betsy, posted THREE awesome recipes on the discussion threads!

I love making fish for dinner.  I’m trying to get Dan to eat more fish.  He loves shellfish.  He would eat lobster, crab or shrimp all day long.   But fish, not so much.  He does like the flaky fish, like cod.  The trick is to get him to eat it without having a ton of batter on it, a side of chips and an ice cold brew.  That’s okay in moderation, but this is a weeknight, and we already splurged with the Panko Crusted Onion Rings on Monday.

Dan asked me this morning why I don’t post more recipes for cooking for two.  After all, there are just the two of us, and the dog, and mom, occasionally when she comes over.  I normally cook for two.  I promised I’d make something “just for us” tonight.  Little did he know it would be fish. 

But, he liked it!  He really liked it!  When my husband tells me a fish dish is a “keeper,” I know it’s good.  If you can get a non fish lover to love a fish dish… the rest is history.

I’ve been told that I made really good fish.  When I bake fish, I always begin with the classic combo of onion and pepper.  Tonight I used red onion and red pepper, as that is what I had on hand. 
Red Onion, Red Pepper and Cooking Spraay

I preheated the oven to 400°.  I added the diced onion and pepper to the baking dish, and THEN is spayed it with butter flavored cooking spray.  I wanted to coat those onions and peppers with that buttery flavor, without adding calories.


I added the cod on top of the onion and peppers.  I used two five ounce cod loins – wild caught.  I’m lucky because my local supermarket carries frozen wild caught fish.  I try to keep a pack in the freezer when the price is right.

I topped the fish off with a little Spanish Paprika.  Paprika burns, but I’m going to give you a trick here that will keep it bright and red without turning on you.

I then diced up a half of a fresh tomato and added it on top of the fish.  I didn’t seed the tomato, but you certainly can.  I find this time of year, the hothouse tomatoes don’t hold up texture to seeding but it’s your call.  I sprinkled a little Italian Seasoning on the fish, along with a dash of Sea Salt (course Sea Salt, of course) and freshly Ground Black pepper.  Then I top it off with a slice of lemon on each piece of fish.

Wild Caught Cod, ready for my oven... but not so fast!
Okay, pretty basic so far and not something you haven’t seen before, right?  Well, here is where it gets interesting… 

1/8 cup Vermouth with 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
I use an 1/8 cup of white Vermouth and a teaspoon of good quality balsamic vinegar.  Mix the two together and pour it over the fish.  This is delicious, and the moisture keeps the paprika from burning. 

This fish is flaky, moist, and delicious!
So light, fresh, and so good.  You have got to try this!  Even if you don’t cook, you can’t miss with this fish. 

I served Mushroom and Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo along side.  I like to use whole wheat pasta when I make a pasta dish, and reserve the real stuff for side dishes, so we don’t eat as much. 

I wish I could give you my Alfredo recipe, but I can’t.  It’s not mine.  I get Alfredo base from a friend who does test kitchen work, and I keep it in the freezer.  Her base is made with skim milk.  I add just a touch of butter, parmesan cheese and 2% to bring it to life. 


Mushroom and Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo Side Dish
I used frozen spinach, which I cooked it in the microwave and strained with my Martha Stewart potato masher.  I sautéed the mushrooms in a little olive oil, butter and dried thyme.  I added a little bottled minced garlic for good measure. 

Some cooks turn their noses up to bottled minced garlic.  Let me tell you, there are so many good ones on the market – and for a steal -- including the organic variety that I often purchase.   If you use it up quickly, it’s as good as fresh – and time saving!

All in all, it was a good night, and a great meal.  Economical, too. 

Tomorrow, Carnivore Gal is back to beef, while sticking to the January challenge of cooking healthier.   I’m making Bacon-Wrapped, Petite Pan Seared Filets with a Scotch Whiskey and [Diet] Ginger Ale Sauce! 

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