Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Pan Cilantro Cod Stew

We are major fish eaters around our house and really lucky to live here in Maine, where there's no shortage of the freshest fish and shellfish you can find. Of course it doesn't hurt to have a good friend that supplies me with much of my obsession either :)

Our friend Paul fishes pretty much daily in season, and on a day just like this one we went out for cod. It was one of those gorgeous fishing days, when you just knew you'd be pulling them in left and right, and that we did. Seldom is my freezer not stocked with cod, haddock, cusp, mackeral or bass. So as I am trying to get this freezer emptied for the new season I pulled out my last package of cod to prepare a dish I've been making for years. I make this dish often through the summer months when the tomatoes are ripe and just picked off their vine and cod that's just been reeled in. For this dish you only need a skillet, spatula, knife and a cutting board and a short list of ingredients. My kind of meal.

Simple flavors put together can create a surprising taste. Ripened tomatoes bring out the sweetness of fresh fish in this one-skillet stew. Simple yet delicious, which blend well together. You can increase or decrease each ingredient to your own liking--there's no right or wrong way to make it and this recipe may easily be halved.

One Pan Cilantro Cod Stew

2 TBLS olive oil, divided
2 lb cod fillets
sea salt to taste
1 1/2 cup diced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro or more to taste
ground black pepper

Heat 1 TBLS of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fish filets sprinkled with salt. Cook for two minutes, then turn the fish and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until just cooked through. Transfer the filets and browned pieces to a warm plate. (It's okay if fillets break into smaller pieces).

Heat the remaining 1 TBLS of olive oil in the same skillet, adding the onions and garlic and cook, stirring until the onions begin to soften, about two minutes. Add the tomatoes and water and stir well. Lower the heat and simmer until the tomatoes begin to reduce into a sauce, about 6-8 minutes. Return the filets, including any accumulated juices to the skillet. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro and cover skillet. Simmer for two minutes or until the cilantro has slightly wilted.
Sprinkle the stew with ground pepper and serve immediately over rice or with crusty artisan bread. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower and Figs

Looking for a new Easter side dish to serve your family? I'll have to admit, I really enjoy cauliflower, prepared in any manner..and paired with fresh figs..oh my, just simply delicious!
I have made this dish several times, typically using dates and it is really so good and healthy too!. But after making some fig jam this week I had some figs left over that needed to be used up, and one lone Meyer lemon so I thought, why not? And guess was fantastic! Give it a try, you will love it. I served it along with sliced grilled chicken breast with a drizzle of hollandaise and a tossed salad.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Figs

1 head cauliflower
5-6 fresh figs
2 garlic cloves, smashed & minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper, plus more for serving
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp dried summer savory

1 lemon, sliced--I used a Meyer lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove and discard the outer leaves and thick stem from cauliflower. Divide the head and then quarter it. Then, with each quarter cut the cauliflower into smaller 1/4 inch slices/pieces. Rinse the figs and remove the stem and cut into bite sized pieces.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper and mix well. Add to this the sliced cauliflower, figs and lemon slices--tossing all to coat it. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet or large oven proof casserole in a shallow layer and sprinkle on the savory.

Roast at 400 degrees until the cauliflower is lightly browned and just tender--about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to serving dish and because I love pepper I always grind a bit more pepper over before serving. Enjoy!