Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crusty Cod with Spring Vegetables

Ok, so I'm spoiled. I live in a city pretty much surrounded by water, with a whole section of town identified by its proximity to the harbor. The tourist merchandise has lobsters on it. You can't walk out the door without tripping over some scrod. I exaggerate, but my point is that it's really easy for us to eat a lot of fish up here. Which, despite your potential distance to a body of water, is becoming easier for you to do too.

In case you haven't heard, fish is particularly good for you. It's a solid, lean protein with oodles of vitamins and Omega-3s lurking underneath those scales. And since you've been waiting approximately forever to be able to evaluate the menu or the fish counter from the comfort of your iPhone, you'll be happy to start using FishPhone -- a texting service that will shoot you nutrition and sustainability information about any fish you query. I am not making this up. (You can also check Fish Watch and the Blue Ocean Institute's Guide to Ocean Friendly Fish.) These guides are designed to help you become more familiar with the way different fish are farmed, fished, or otherwise brought to your plate, so you have a better shot at choosing an ocean friendly dinner.

Tonight, we had cod. Delicious, buttery cod over a bed of sauteed spring vegetables. Gourmet was the inspiration, and 30 minutes was all the time required.

Crusty Cod with Spring Vegetables
(serves 2 generously, start-to-finish: 25 minutes)

2 6-oz. fish fillets (cod, hake, haddock, or any other firm white fish will do)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 green onions, chopped in 1-inch segments
1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped in 1-inch segments
1 medium zucchini, in 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 head romaine, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 450º. Salt and pepper both sides of the fish filets, coat in dijon mustard then smush with bread crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil. [NOTE: you can make your own panko! Simply take some bread, grind it in the food processor until some small chunks remain--not completely fine--and then either let it sit out overnight or cook it in the oven at about 300º for 20ish minutes. Store in a zipper bag in the freezer.] Cook 8-10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Toss in green onions, asparagus, zucchini and sprinkle in some salt. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas, romaine, garlic, and water; cover and cook 3 minutes more. Remove lid and take off heat. Stir in mint.
  • Serve crispy fish over bed of spring vegetables.

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