Tag Archives: cod fish

Baked Fish Topped with Fresh Salsa & Served with Roasted Poblano Rice (serves 6)

Some of us wanted salad this past Friday, while others craved fish (me!) so my compromise was to make a fish with the feel of something raw and fresh-tasting. This was the perfect solution and gave us all the feeling of warmer days ahead!

yf

Baked Fish with Salsa and rice – very refreshing and zesty dinner

I think salsa can be added to so many dishes to give it crunch and zestiness. The key is finding good Roma/plum tomatoes, and I was lucky this time around. The other key is cilantro, which I used in abundance! I did not add diced red onion to this salsa (which I normally do) as I was pairing it with fish. Fish and onion:  yucky combination I’m afraid.
tf

Cilantro and Lime in my salsa

The rice would have been fine on its own but I added some smokey poblano peppers to tie the salsa and rice together and  it did wonders for the mild-tasting fish.
Poblano pepper

This is a Poblano pepper and it is said to hail from Puebla in central Mexico. It has a thick, dark-green skin and is generally mild to medium-hot with a lovely smokey flavor

Try this out next Friday and see if you can’t taste the arrival of Spring!
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* to make this a Blood Type A diet recipe, make the following changes: omit the pepper and put chopped up cilantro or parsley into your cooked rice. Do not use tilapia, only cod for baking fish. Omit butter and dot with olive oil instead. Top fish with a mixture of mashed Avocado, lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste*

You will need:

for baked fish:

3 lbs firm white fish (cod, haddock, sole, tilapia, scrod – can be mixed fish)

salt and pepper for fish seasoning

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter

for the Fresh Salsa:

6 Roma tomatoes – halved, cored & seeded  (and discarded) and flesh finely diced

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 tbs lime juice

1 jalapeno pepper – finely minced (remove the seeds and inside veins if desired, but not necessary

3/4 tsp coarse salt or sea salt flakes

for the rice:

6 or so cups cooked Basmati rice (if using a rice-cooker: use 3 cup measure of rice and water and cook according to instructions. If using stove top: use 2 cups of rice and follow instructions)

2 or 3 Poblano peppers (if small, use 3, if large use 2)

Method:

1 – Put rice on to cook and roast poblano pepper.

Wash and dry Poblano and place on a baking sheet. Place close to the grill in the oven and grill until all sides are charred. you will have to check every 3 or so minutes and turn peppers to get the whole thing charred.

grill poblano

grill poblano

2 – After you char the peppers, place in a brown paper or zip-top bag and close. Let them steam and cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from bag and pull the skin off. It should come off in good-sized stripes. Do not rinse under water as this washes away the flavor.

seed, de-vein adn dice

seed, de-vein and dice

3 – Cut the Poblano in half and remove the seeds by scraping with a knife. Dice peppers. When rice is cooked, mix peppers into rice. Set aside and keep warm.

mix rice and peppers

mix peppers with rice

Make Salsa:

1 – Prepare the tomatoes and place in a bowl, along with the chopped cilantro, minced jalapeno, lime juice and salt. Taste and add more salt and lime juice if you think it needs it.

dice Roma tomatoes

Dice Roma tomatoes

Make Salsa and set aside in fridge

Make Salsa and set aside in fridge

Bake fish:

Preheat oven 450*

1 – Put washed and dried fish on large baking sheet in a single layer. Dot with butter and season with some salt and black pepper. Toss the cilantro leaves over the whole dish and then cover tightly with tin foil.

place fish on baking sheet with seasonings

place fish on baking sheet with seasonings

 2 – Place the fish in the oven and bake for about fifteen minutes.

Bake fish for about 15 minutes

Bake fish for about 15 minutes in a 450* oven

 Serve fish with some of its juices and a portion of rice topped with a big spoonful of salsa. A little Greek yogurt or sour cream as a garnish is also a nice touch!

Serve

Serve

A Fantastic Fish Curry (serves 6)

This was so much better on the plate than I had imagined in my head (and that’s saying something considering my imagination!). We are still in the bowels of a monstrous heat wave and the challenge is to cook something great for dinner quicker than the time it takes me to get agitated from standing by a hot stove for too long!

This fish curry is so good even people who claim to hate fish can be won over!

This fish curry is so good even people who claim to hate fish can be won over!

When I went to the supermarket yesterday with my daughter we talked about what would cook speedily? I told her not to think of a dish but to think of a main ingredient that would cook quickly – “FISH”, she shouted when she was suddenly hit with the idea, causing the woman with the trolley beside us to glare at her for startling her – oops!

good things in little packages

The smaller the fish, the quicker it cooks (this was for my little fish fry in Italy – Press here to see the recipe

I thought that a powerful idea but was a bit worried about the selection at a shop I don’t usually buy fish from. The man behind the fish counter was about 16 and was no aspiring fish monger, so I was left up to my own intuition. The best thing to do when you cannot glean any information about which fish came in when is to smell it and give it a little poke with your finger.

fish

Fish needs to be smelled and touched to see if it is fresh

After a couple of whiffs and a little prodding at the flesh I decided that the flounder was the best fish for the job, and being nice and thin, it would also cook quickly. It was also a bonus that it was on sale so I was able to buy a couple of pounds without breaking the bank.

I fried catfish to go with my curry (instead of flounder)

I fried catfish to go with my curry (instead of flounder)

I didn’t want to fry it as that would mean I would also need to use a pot for a green and another for a starch and that was two too many pots for me to take on last night. I decided to cook curry because it would add lots of flavor to the mild fish and also because it’s what people eat in boiling hot countries like India. The theory is that spicy foods cool you down and just over a billion people can’t  be wrong.

Yellow squash from the Farmer's market and basil from my garden (my garden is my flavor life saver!)

Yellow squash from the Farmer’s market and basil from my garden (my garden is my flavor life saver!)

I did not know what veggies I had on hand but decided to use whatever I found in the fridge when I got home. I had yellow squash and some lovely kale and so this lovely curry was invented last night. It was truly fantastic and not a scrape was left today for lunch!

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*YES, I made this a Blood Type A Diet Recipe for me by using catfish instead of flounder and making the curry sauce with no dairy whatsoever. I know we have to eliminate or stick to certain spices but my compromise was to not add too much curry sauce to my dish and to cook my fish separately – A little compromising is how I am generally able to stick to the guideline*

You will need:

2 lbs mild tasting fish fillets (flounder, haddock, cod, white fish, catfish)

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 yellow squash, thickly sliced (3/4 inch)

3 cups baby kale or chopped kale (or spinach)

3/4 cup matchstick or Julienne carrots

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tbls curry powder (good quality, mild to medium heat)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp finely chopped fresh marjoram leaves

4 basil leaves, finely chopped (optional or only if you have them)

3 to 4 cups chicken or veggie stock OR water and good quality bouillon cube

basmati rice for 6 (cook according to directions on package or in rice cooker)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

In a small bowl combine the flour, curry powder, turmeric, chopped marjoram and 1 tsp sea-salt.

1 – Put large saute pan on medium heat and add oil. Add the diced onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the carrots and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

add carrots

Saute onions, add carrots

2 – Add the spice mix to the pan and stir everything together (it will be a bit dry). If you are using a bouillon cube you should add it now.

Add spices mix and flour

Add spices mix and flour

3 – Add 1 cup of broth (or water) and use a manual whisk to stir it until you have a smooth paste with no lumps. Add 2 more cups of liquid and turn heat up slightly. Stir frequently until the sauce gets hot and begins to thicken (about 5 minutes)

make curry sauce

Make curry sauce

4 – Add the squash and bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn heat down, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Add squash

Add squash

5 – Add the fish in an even layer (there will be some overlapping) and shake pan. this action will allow sauce to cover the fish. Turn heat up again and bring back to a simmer (you will see little bubbles on the surface of the sauce).

Add fish

Add fish

6 – When it is bubbling slightly add the baby or chopped kale (or spinach). Cover pan and cook on a low simmer until the fish is cooked through (anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish you use). Check fish and taste sauce for additionally seasoning. Scatter the basil leaves on top before serving.

then kale

Then kale

Let the curry rest for 5 or so minutes before serving with basmati rice.

Catfish Curry (for Blood Type A Diet Followers)

Catfish Curry (for Blood Type A Diet Followers) Because I did not want my fish to cook with the flounder, I fried it in a separate pan with a little oil and some seasonings

A few Days At The Beach AND A Quick Way to Feed People with Minimum Effort: Foiled Fish For Four (or more!)

Evening at Cape May Point

Evening at Cape May Point

It is beach time again and I thought that would mean lounging around reading, swimming and writing long meandering posts of my observations and what I have been cooking. Well, that’s not exactly how it has been working out!

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

My friend Kelley and I are have been abandoned by our spouses this year to fend for ourselves. What I can I say…the week at the beach was booked for a year, circumstances changed and Kelley and I were the only ones free this particular week, (Dave managed two days before leaving). How could we disappoint our children who had been dreaming about this moment for what seemed like an eternity when you use “kid logic” (they live in different countries!)

Calder

Calder

Who knew it would be so much more difficult to do this with only two adults. This year I am chief cook and bottle washer while Kelley is errand boy and wrangler of all things beach-related.

Ide

Ide

This left very little time for that novel I was looking forward to reading and writing down what I have been up to.

Marie-Lyse

Marie-Lyse

We have also had a few misadventures, like the first day when we were not thinking sensibly and dragged everyone to the beach at high noon, resulting in burning my poor fair-skinned son to a crisp!

Cape May Light House

Cape May Light House

Then there was the day we were determined to stay on the beach even though the wind was whipping sand in our faces and our big umbrella was threatening to uproot itself and sail away down the beach.

Looking for nice rocks on sunset Beach

Looking for nice rocks on Sunset Beach

Or the other evening when we felt so bad because the kids couldn’t swim all of that day because of the sudden appearance of hundreds of jellyfish keeping them out of the water, and then letting them swim in their clothes when we went for a walk on the beach in the evening. This left me with a pile of sand-ridden clothes and towels to wash: never again!

Fried!

Fried!

Yesterday we thought we had finally gotten things right: leaving for the beach in the later cooler afternoon, buying my son something to cover his entire body to guard against another case of sunburn, and getting food ready before we left to quickly throw on the grill for dinner upon our return.

Jelly Fish Farming

Jelly Fish Farming

However, when we got to the beach the jellyfish had decided to stick around and I’m afraid digging holes in the sand did not appeal to my teenage boy so he went back to the house to mope and the girls decided the only thing to do was remove the jellyfish from the water, one shovel load at a time.

Must be mating season

Must be mating season

They had done this the day before and now they were getting profession. They dug a wide pond-like hole several feet from the water and filled it with water with their trusty orange beach bucket. Then, for the next couple of hours they filled their pond with jellyfish until it looked like a pink pulsating planet.

No swimming today

No swimming today

It didn’t rid the ocean of these stinging creatures but it did mange to keep them busy for hours and even managed to amuse anyone who walked by who were also more than a little put out by not being able to enjoy the water.

What life guards do after 5pm

What Life Guards do after 5pm

By about 7pm, Kelley and I, who had enough of the beach for the day, asked if they were ready to leave? They kept asking us to wait just in case there was a chance that the jellyfish would magically decide to go our to sea leaving them to swim at least once that day.

Lots of fishing but as Dave said "I've never seen anyone catch anything!"

Lots of fishing but as Dave said “I’ve never seen anyone catch a fish!”

We would have held out only it looked like it was going to storm and we didn’t want to get struck by lightning!

Kelly grilled Scallops

Kelley grilled Scallops

When we got back our barbecue plan was foiled by the rolling thunder so we had to cook our lovely marinated chicken in the oven. It was good but would have tasted so much better eating it from the grill outside on the porch.

and shrimp (so we did get lucky with the grilling one night!)

and shrimp (so we did get lucky with the grilling one night!)

Okay, so we have two beach days left and this morning I said to Kelley, “how about ousting the kids out of bed early, taking them to the beach before the jellyfish invasion, no long preparations, no snacks, just towels and sunscreen?”

He popped out of his chair and said “ready in five!”

on the beach

on the beach

They were installed in our usual spot by 10am and Kelley took the first shift while I escaped to be alone for the first time in 5 days!

A text from Kelley sent the news that the waves were perfect, there was a cool breeze and the kids had not left the water since their arrival.

uh

Another look

I have not seen sight nor hair of anyone in two hours.We may have finally got it right!

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Foiled Fish Recipe

This is a great way to feed plenty of hungry beach goers and allows you to spend them with them rather than tied to the kitchen!

All it requires you to do is wrap fish in some foil with some great flavorings in the morning, letting everything marinate, and then throwing the foiled packs into the oven for 15 minutes to cook!

Foiled Fish

Foiled Fish

You will need:

4 pieces of firm white fish or more for more people (tilapia, flounder, haddock, cod, fillet trout, monk fish etc)

1/4 cup extra virgin oil

1/2 cup white wine

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp sea salt

several grinds black pepper

8 sprigs thyme

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Wash and dry fish.

2 – Tear off 4 large pieces of heavy-duty foil and double it. Lay fish is center. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

3 – Mix oil, wine, and lemon juice together and spoon over the fish carefully. Add 2 sprigs of thyme to each fish and fold packet neatly but not too tight. (This can be done hours or up to 15 minutes ahead of time)

Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and check to make sure the fish is cooked through, and serve with all of its lovely juices.

You can serve this as is or with some sautéed spinach and rice, some pasta or a salad.

More of this tomorrow

More of this tomorrow

Do You Want Curry Chips With That? (with your Baked Curried Cod that is!) Serves 4-6

The other day a very old friend tracked me down via this blog, and since then we have exchanged a couple of emails. The kind of “old friend” I am talking about is the one you are forever bound to because you were in the same place at the same time during those precious formative years; the years where you were beginning to become the person you ultimately became (for lack of a more evolved explanation).

Curried Chips: the reason for this post!

Curried Chips: the reason for this post!

I met Maria when we were thirteen and we were thrown together, for better or for worse, until we were grown women of eighteen (supposedly anyway!), and, except for a few occasions when we happen to bump into each other, and keeping up a little through mutual friends, we had never really kept in touch. I didn’t see this as a  failure on either of our parts. It was just life, and our school friendship was complete in and of itself, unchanged by the years in between and the cheery hello I received from her last week.

The River Barrow (10 minutes from our house)

The River Barrow (10 minutes from our house)

Of course the way in which friendships like this one are rekindled  is to connect over the events that our lives revolved around at that time; the place we lived, the people we knew, the food we ate etc. And so when we emailed, we both started off with “remember when?” comments.

Maria’s “remember when” was about running over to get batter burgers at lunchtime! What’s a batter burger you may well ask? Basically, the Fish & Chip shop was the only place to have something quick to eat in the 1970’s through the 80’s, and was (and still is) synonymous with the last stop on the way home from a drunken night on the town. It was thought to be a good hangover cure, or at least make it more bearable.

Crispy battered cod

Crispy battered cod from The Saltee Chipper in County Wexford

  ‘The Chipper”, as any one of these places was generally referred to, was by and large run by first generation Italians in Ireland, and they had accomplished the art of frying fish, meat and potatoes (the staples in Ireland back then), in a small vat of bubbling oil to crisp perfection. There is nothing quite like a meal of battered cod and chips (french fries) with a good soaking of vinegar. It can be such a deeply satisfying dish when eaten at exactly the right moment. The batter burger sounds awful, a beef patty dipped in dough batter and deep-fried to a golden puffiness – yep, that does sound awful, but I assure you I must have liked it at one point in my life. Battered sausages were also a popular item but I never had the nerve to try one. They looked like long blistered…well they looked pretty disgusting to me!

Approacing Christ's Church Cathedral

Dublin is a great place for Fish and Chips

Being reminded of foods like batter burgers made me think about the food from the Chipper that I really enjoyed. I still make Fish and Chips today (plenty of examples of this on my blog) but the memory of Curried Chips was what I became fixated on. In Ireland chips came with everything. It was simply unacceptable to serve a meal without a potato on the plate in one form or another. The Chinese restaurants that opened up were soon to learn that serving chips on the same plate as the chicken curry and rice gleaned more hungry Bar-goers and so it became common to eat chips accidentally soaked in curry sauce.

a peak at the view

County Laois

I am really just coming to my own logical conclusion that the flavor of  the curry sauce on the chips was so popular it became a frequent request at the Chip Shop, and slowly but surely Curried Chips became a popular item on the menu. So much so, that along with the obligatory question, “salt and vinegar?” after your chips were hot out of the oil and in a neat little rectangular bag, you were asked if you wanted curry sauce too. It was either poured into the bag or given on the side. As messy as it was to eat, I preferred it spilling out of the bag!

Curried Chips with Cod Fish

My Version of Curried Chips with Cod Fish

The logic continued to follow that I would have to make Curried Chips myself to capture some of that nostalgia. When my son took his first bite he declared, “hey, these are like the curried chips in Ireland”

Enough said!

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For the Curry Sauce:

4 tbs unsalted butter

3 to 4 cups chicken or veggie broth OR 1 good quality bouillon cube and water (which is what I usually do for this. I use Rapunzel brand cubes: really great)

1 1/2 to 2 tbs mild or medium heat madras curry powder

1 tsp sea-salt

freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1 – Put sauce pan on medium/low heat and add the butter. When it has melted, add the curry powder and sir until incorporated. Add the flour and repeat process. If using a bouillon cube, crumble it in, and stir well.

melt butter, add curry powder

melt butter, add curry powder

2 – Next add the liquids 1 cup at a time while mixing with a whisk. Cook sauce (stirring all the while) until thickened and flour and spices have cooked into the liquid, (about 10 minutes or so). Taste and adjust for salt and pepper according to your likeness. Cover and set aside.

Cook for a little

Cook for a little

*If you feel your sauce could be thinner, add more stock or water until the desired consistency is reached.*

add liquid, salt adn pepper

Add liquid, salt and pepper

Serve with whatever you like; in this case, chips or french fries (depending on which continent you grew up on!)

serve with fries

serve with fries (either on the side like this, or smothering the chips completely in sauce!)

Recipe for Chips (Fries):

4 large potatoes (not huge, just large!)

3 tbs olive oil,

1 tsp sea-salt

generous grinding of black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven 475*

1 – Wash and dry the potatoes and cut lengthways into thick slices (3/5″, 1cm) and put in large bowl. 2 – Add the salt & pepper and the olive oil to bowl and mix well with hands until potatoes are well coated. When oven is hot take your big baking sheet and add 2 tbs oil to pan and place in lower 3rd of oven.

from potato, to slices, to fries!

From potato, to slices, to fries!

2 – Add the salt & pepper and the olive oil to bowl and mix well with hands until potatoes are well coated. When oven is hot take your big baking sheet and add 2 tbs oil to pan and place in lower 3rd of oven. Let pan warm for about 4 or so minutes. Take pan out (it will give off a bluish smoke, don’t be alarmed) and immediately pour potatoes onto pan (should sizzle).

Mix in a bowl with rest of ingredients

Mix in a bowl with rest of ingredients (I added a few sprigs of rosemary that I discovered lurking in the back of the veggie drawer)

3 –  Arrange evenly in a single layer and place in oven for 20 minutes. Take out, let pan cool for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then turn fries with a spatula (or egg flip/turner?). They should release easily….if not, put back in oven for another 2 minutes and try again. Turn and place back in oven for a further 8 to 10 minutes (peak after 8). Take out, give them a minute to release themselves and get ready to serve or keep warm as the case may be.

great fries

Great fries

Recipe for Baked Curried Cod:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh cod fillets (use 2 lbs if cooking for six), cut into 4 to 6 oz pieces

1 tsp mild curry powder

sprigs of fresh thyme (about 2 dozen)

1 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter

sea-salt and black pepper for seasoning fish

Method:

Preheat oven to 400*

1 – Wash and dry fish. Season fish with sea-salt and pepper and curry powder. Rub a baking sheet with the olive oil and toss the thyme sprigs in the bottom in the even layer. Place the fish on top of the thyme.

*If some of your fish is thick and some thin (the tail end), all you have to do is fold the thin pieces in two to thicken them out and to assure they cook around the same time as your thicker pieces*

Arrange fish on baking tray with other ingredients

Arrange fish on baking tray with other ingredients

2 – Place a pat of butter on each fish piece and bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Take it our of the oven and cover with foil until ready to serve.

et voila!

et voila!

Serve this with whatever you like: if serving alone, add some lemon wedges. This is also great with egg noodles, rice and a sautéed green.

As you can see, I served the fish with curry sauce adn chips - delish!

As you can see, I served the fish with curry sauce and chips – quite delish!

Asian-Style Fish Sliders (serves 6)

This is a fantastic way to eat nice firm cod fish. It holds up very well to frying and has that meaty quality that goes oh so well with crusty bread!

Asian-Style Fish Sliders

Asian-Style Fish Sliders

I find fish cooked with batter, or like here, with a nice coating of crispy panko crumbs seals in the flavor and moisture perfectly.

This is very simple to prepare, however the only thing you have to watch is not to be afraid to get your pan hot enough so the fish does not stick to your pan, and leaving it alone while it is frying. The tendency to fiddle with the fish by moving it around or trying to lift it up to look underneath is a habit that can result in your never wanted to attempt to cook fish again.

After you master the fish-frying you can make the sandwich any way you like. if you only have mayonnaise and mustard, then mix them together. Even a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt can substitute for the mayo altogether. I soaked the lettuce in a soy and mirin mixture, but feel free to leave it plain if you are feeling plain yourself!

In other words: attempt fish sandwiches for dinner some time!

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* Blood Type A Diet followers can also make this fish sandwich but need to make the following adjustments: serve on toasted sprouted bread and omit the mayonnaise. You can mix some mustard powder (about 1 tsp) to 1 cup of plain yogurt instead, and the romaine garnish is perfectly fine as is!*

You will need:

for fish:

2 lbs cod, cut into 12 pieces

2 eggs

1 1/2 tbs mirin

1 tbs soy sauce

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

for hot mayo:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbs wasabi paste

1 tbs lime juice

1 tsp lime zest

1/4 tsp sea-salt

several grinds black pepper

*If you don’t have, cannot find or do not like wasabi, you can use 1 tbs of chili-garlic sauce instead and omit the lime juice – Chili-garlic sauce can be found in the Asian or ethnic section of western supermarkets*

for green garnish:

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs mirin

1 tsp sriracha sauce

1/2 tbs lime juice

12 fresh crusty small bread buns

Method:

1 – Wash and dry the fish and cut into 12 pieces. In a wide shallow bowl beat the eggs with the soy and mirin. Put the panko into a wide shallow bowl. Dip the fish into the egg and then press both sides into the panko crumbs. Transfer fish to large plate and set aside.

prep fish

Prep fish

2 – Combine all ingredients for hot mayonnaise in a bowl. Taste to adjust seasoning and set aside.

make hot mayo

Make hot mayo

3 – Toss the chopped romaine with the soy, lime juice, sriracha and mirin and set aside.

make green garnish

Make green garnish

4 – Put large saute pan on just below high heat and add 2 or so tablespoons of vegetable (or olive oil). When the oil is hot, add half of the fish and cook on both sides until crispy and cooked through (about 7 or so minutes). *Do not move fish around too much or put into a cold pan or it will stick*  Remove to a warm plate in a low temperature oven when done.

Fry fish

Fry fish

To assemble: Split the buns and toast lightly. Spread some of the hot mayo on both pieces and top with fish, followed by lots of romaine. Top with bun and serve.

Assemble sliders

Assemble sliders

Serve two sliders per person. This can also be eaten on a bed of the dressed romaine without the bun.

Can also be eaten without the bun!

Can also be eaten without the bun!

Fried Cod With Cilantro (or Parsley) Butter and Guacamole (serves 6)

This was such a treat of a dinner with every component delicious unto itself but glorious altogether!

great combination of flavors

Great combination of flavors

This dish was all about what I wanted to eat last night. I had a mad craving for big flakes of cod but I also wanted something that did not remind me of Wintry weather. My mind turned to greens and citrus. I had all this cilantro in the fridge so decided to put it into everything, including a blended butter.

Cilantro butter: blended butters are fantastic adn a great way to add flavor to fish or meat. It is also a great way to use up the last of any herbs you might have in the fride.

Cilantro butter: blended butters are fantastic and a great way to add flavor to fish or meat. It is also a handy way to use up the last of any herbs you might have in the fridge.

To lighten this meal further and bring summer to the table I served it with a no-heat guacamole with some colorful blue corn chips. There are so many ways to make guacamole and not adding pepper heat worked much better with the mild buttery fish and lemon zing.

Go ahead and plan this dinner for the weekend. You will win the whole table over, especially if you start out with an icy margarita!

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You will need:

for the fish:

2 lbs fresh cod, cut into 8 – 10 pieces

olive oil or vegetable oil

1 cup flour

sea-salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

for the cilantro butter:

1 stick (4 oz) butter, room temperature (or 1 cup of yogurt if you want something lower in fat)

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tbls cilantro leaves, chopped (you can also substitute with flat leaf parsley)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 lemon, cut into six wedges

for the (no heat) guacamole:

2 ripe Haas avocados, quartered and diced

2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced

3 tbs cilantro leaves, chopped

t tbs red onion, very finely diced (optional)

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp sea-salt

several grinds black pepper

Large blue corn chips (4 to 5 for each person)

*To make this a Blood Type A diet recipe, do the following: Omit the black pepper and tomatoes. Replace the butter with 3/4 cup plain yogurt for the butter and follow same recipe. Use olive oil or grapeseed oil only*

Method:

Make butter: Place all of the butter ingredients into a food processor and blend for 10 seconds. (if using yogurt instead of butter, mix everything together in a bowl and set aside in the fridge until needed).

Blend butter with seasonings

Blend butter with seasonings

Remove from processor with spatula and place on a piece of wax paper. Roll into the paper and gently roll into a fat log. Place in the fridge to harden

Roll in wax paper

Roll in wax paper

Before serving, remove from wax paper.

cilantro butter

Remove from wax paper

Make the guacamole: 

Place all ingredients for guacamole in bowl and mix together gently. Taste for the addition of more salt and/or pepper. Set aside.

Gaucamole

Guacamole

Fry Fish:

*Important note: if the pieces of fish are different thicknesses, fry the same ones together as they will have the same cook time*

Wash and dry fish and season generously with sea-salt and pepper.

Wash & dry fish. season.

Wash & dry fish. Season.

Place flour on a large pan or plate and coat each fish on both sides. Place large saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When the pan is hot add 1/2 of the fish in an even layer and fry for between 4 to 6 minutes (if they are thick pieces they will need up to 6 minutes). Turn fish and lower heat to medium/low and cover with lid. Cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove to a plate in a low temp oven to keep warm (stick the plates you will be serving on in the oven too to warm.)

Fry Fish

Fry Fish

To serve, arrange some corn chips on  plate with a serving of guacamole. Divide the fish between the plates and top with a slice of cilantro butter (or cilantro yogurt) and a wedge of lemon.

Colorful dinner

Colorful dinner is ready!

I also served the fish with rice for those in the group that despise guacamole (I will never understand why!)

You can also serve with rice: The rice had swwet freid onions, garlic adn chopped corander in it. Very delicious accomapniment also.

You can also serve with rice: The rice had sweet fried onions, garlic and chopped cilantro in it. Very delicious accompaniment also.

Baked Fish with Green (or Red) Salsa & Lemon Wedges (serves 6)

The great thing about fish is that you can make something good in a hurry. Besides fish, having a food processor to blend ingredients is also a labor-saving device that allows for a speedy dinner. I used both the fish and the food processor for last night’s dinner.

Salmon filet with a great green slasa

Salmon filet with a great green salsa

Have you ever found yourself in the supermarket in a daze wondering how to get dinner on the table fast without the compromise of grabbing something from the freezer section, or God forbid a can of soup! It is at times like this you have to take this sound advice from the Crappy Kitchen: cook fish!

This dinner was luxurious in every way all with no trouble on my part because of smart choices. I blended all the ingredients for a salsa, spooned it over my fish and into the oven for 13 minutes!

lots of peppers from my garden & from next door!

Salsa can be made with whatever hot pepper you have on hand

It left me free to get ready for the week ahead and still manage to serve something very delicious for dinner.

You can use any type of firm fish so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The other great thing is that this can be made for an impromptu dinner party by any 10-year-old!

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You will need:

6 Firm fish filets (6 oz each), Cod, Salmon, Monk fish, Orange Roughy, Haddock, or any firm flaky fish

sea-salt

Freshly ground black pepper

for green salsa:

1 clove garlic (use 2 cloves if they are small)

1 poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded, and roughly chopped (any hot pepper will do)

4 or 5 scallions, whites and light green parts only, chopped

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped flat-leafed parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

2 tomatilla, cored, seeded and roughly chopped (if you cannot find tomatilla, use plum or Roma tomatoes instead)

1 tsp sea-salt

1/3 cup water

1 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

*You can also use a red salsa for the topping*

Slice 6 plum tomatoes in half and remove the flesh and dice. Put into a bowl with 2 tbs finely chopped red onion, 1  diced jalapeno, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and 1 tbs of lime juice. Taste and add salt if you feel it needs it.

Method:

Preheat oven 350*

1 – Rinse and dry fish. Season with plenty of sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in an oiled heavy casserole (glass, enamel or metal will do). You may have to use two dishes.

season fish

Season fish

2 – Prep all of the veggies as instructed above.

Fresh parsley and an onion; great flavors

Prep all veggies for salsa

3 – Place all ingredients for salsa into your food processor and blend until smooth.

Blend all salsa ingredients

Blend all salsa ingredients

4 – Top each filet with a generous dollop of salsa and place in the oven until the fish is cooked (depending on the fish, but between 8 to 14 minutes).

Top fish with salsa adn place in oven

Top fish with salsa and place in oven

Serve with anything you like: on a bed of greens, with rice or on its own.

a squeeze of lemon is a lovely addition

A squeeze of lemon is a lovely addition

Make sure to have lemon wedges for generous squeezing. However, if you top with red salsa, a squeeze of lime works best.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro

Freshly chopped cilantro is also a nice touch.