Friday, February 22, 2013

a lenten meal: coriander scented alaskan cod with swiss chard

Despite my two previous posts I really have been eating well.  I try to incorporate fish into my diet once or twice a week.  I am a big Pacific salmon fan.  While living in Idaho, I became spoiled with fresh wild salmon (and it didn't hurt that my neighbor was a fisherman-it was his occupation not hobby).  Sometimes though, I like to enjoy a milder flavored fish and that is when I turn to cod (I prefer Alaskan Cod).

When I make cod, I serve it with greens on top.  Because of its mild flavor and seasonings, I find the two together quite complimentary.  The cod is gently seasoned with toasted coriander and cumin, salt and pepper.  The greens (usually Swiss chard) are sauteed, brightened with lemon and have an added kick from crushed red pepper. Served with a wild rice or quinoa, this dish would be a very lovely Lenten meal.

Coriander Scented Cod with Swiss Chard
 serves four

for the fish
4-4 ounce Alaskan Cod fillets, with skin on
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Place coriander and cumin into a dry pan over medium heat.  Toast spices until they are fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and place into a spice grinder.  Grind spices until coarsely ground.
  2. Season fish with the spice mixture, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Place fish, skin side down onto skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Turn fish over and cook for 2-4 minutes more, until just opaque in the center.
for the greens
1 bunch Swiss chard, remove the ribs and stems and tear leaves into pieces
1 clove of garlic
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 lemon, zested
2 tablespoon Calamata olives
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper
  1. Wash and dry your greens thoroughly.  Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add chard by the handful, letting it wilt between each addition.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Chop olives and mix with lemon zest.  Add to the chard.
Assembling the plate:
  1.  Place a fillet onto a plate.  Spoon chard over the fish.  Top with more olives or squeeze lemon over the fish.  Serve with quinoa or wild rice.

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