Friday, April 29, 2011

Cod vs. the Crazy Life

I live a fairly chaotic life. I have one of those jobs that never leave you. I rarely spend 40 hours a week in the office and when I do, I end up spending much of my nights and weekends catching up on work I couldn’t get to or attending work events.
I try to plan better and go food shopping once every two weeks to cut down on cost and impulse shopping (never walk into the grocery store hungry!) but my schedule sometimes doesn’t permit it.
On top of that my boyfriend and I live in separate homes that we both own and spend our weeks bouncing back and forth from place to place. On any given day I can be found carrying around a rolling shopping bag filled with clothes, sauté pans, ziplocks of jewelry and other miscellaneous necessities.
Why am I spilling my guts on my topsy turvy personal life? No, I’m not pitching a reality show. I just happened to find myself yesterday in the fortunate position of being able to cook dinner at home (With all of my high-quality cookware and ingredients to keep me company), but also in the unfortunate position of having no actual plan or food for that matter. Oh, and we planned dinner for 6:30.
So, all I had to do was figure out what to make (I’m still on a diet L), pick up all of the ingredients, cook it and get it on the table in an hour and a half….ha!
Luckily I stumbled upon this fantastic cod recipe that required little purchasing on my part and fairly little time and effort (roughly 30 minutes). With a little bit of rapid fire cooking and a blind eye to kitchen mess, I managed to get dinner on the table in pretty good time.
The Mediterranean flavors quite simply sing and compliment the cod beautifully. I served it on top a bed of steamed spinach (though sautéed would be tastier) and tri-color orzo (Go full throttle on that one- make it with chicken stock and mix in some of the tapenade) but a nice rice pilaf and roasted veggies would be nice accompaniments.
The best part of the meal? Hearing my man say, “I want you to make this again.”
As far as culinary critiques go, he usually tells me everything is good (even if it isn’t) or really good. Constructive criticism or compliments are not in his repertoire. It’s just not the way his palate works and I (begrudgingly) understand that.
So to hear him repeatedly compliment the dish and ask for it again was like getting a Michelin star.
So try out this easy and delicious recipe, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we did!
Note: You can set up your meez for the tapenade before the meal or while the cod is roasting, if you do it while the fish is in the oven start immediately. Once it’s time to cook the tapenade you need to focus solely on that because you are adding ingredients in after 20 seconds, then 60 seconds. If the fish is in its final stages of roasting you might accidentally overcook it.

Roasted Cod with Warm Tomato-Olive-Caper Tapenade    From Eating Well Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook
4 servings

1 pound cod fillet, (see Ingredient note)
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cured olives
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Rub cod with 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle with pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 20 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add olives and capers; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds more. Stir in oregano and vinegar; remove from heat. Spoon the tapenade over the cod to serve.
Nutrition (without sides)Per serving : 168 Calories; 8 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 43 mg Cholesterol; 4 g Carbohydrates; 19 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 373 mg Sodium; 286 mg Potassium

Please try this one out and let me know what you think!

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