Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fish, a new way

We like to eat fish, but I am an unimaginative cook in that department.  I don't deep-fry things, so that leaves out all the battered preparations that are so delicious in restaurants.  I usually buy only fish that I can confidently broil or pan-saute, so that means our home repertoire is largely limited to salmon, tuna and trout.

My husband got crabby about that recently and started nagging me to try some new kinds of fish.  In fact, he came home from the grocery with a big hunk of cod.  When I whined that I wouldn't know how to cook it, he sat down with the new cookbook he gave me for Christmas (Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything: the basics") and found a recipe.

So I followed the recipe, which had an intriguing technique: you chop up a big pile of vegetables (I used zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes, black olives and garlic) and saute them in a big dutch oven.  Then you lay the fish over the top of the vegetables, cover the pot and let it cook for five to ten minutes over a low heat.  In effect, the vegetable juices steam the fish.

Sure enough, the fish was cooked perfectly.  When I was serving out the plates I decided to just pile the green beans, cooked separately, on top of the other vegetables rather than get another dish dirty.

The verdict from my husband was that the fish was fine.  The verdict from me was that it would have been better with a quarter-cup of hollandaise sauce.  I thought the cod was just too delicate a fish to have much character when fixed this simply.

If you were on a diet, which we probably should be but aren't, this would be a good menu choice.  Hardly any calories.  If you were on a diet you could probably pep it up with some pesto or tapenade rather than hollandaise.


  1. I usually like to make my version of bacalao....which is traditionally salt cod, but I make it with fresh....baked with tomato and onion sauce...or I broil it with herbs and butter....or I broil it with parmesan cheese, pepper and panko...Like you, I don't deep fry. Mores the pity.

    1. I never like fish with cheese, which is too bad since that would certainly give some pep to that plain old white fish.

      I love all kinds of fish, and often a lot of lemon is sufficient to make even the plainest dish delicious. But for some reason this one left me cold.