Showing posts with label cod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cod. Show all posts

Friday, September 1, 2017

Gratin of Cod Irish Style

We got to our market very early this past week, and most of the fish hadn't been put into the case. But they had some very nice local, never-frozen cod, and this is Massachusetts, where the gilded Sacred Cod hangs in the House of Representatives chamber the State House in Boston, so that's what we went with.

So what's Irish about this? I have, at last inventory, at least eight handsomely illustrated Irish cookbooks. One of them is Darina Allen's A Year at Ballymaloe Cookery School, published in 1997. In case you've never heard of Darina Allen, she has been called "the Julia Child of Ireland," and she's the owner and head chef of the above-named cooking school, which just happens to be in County Cork. I'm saving my pennies to take a class there. But as it happens, she was at the Skibbereen Farmers Market a few weeks ago, so of course I introduced myself. I managed not to gush. (Sorry, no photos--I didn't wish to appear too much of a groupie.)

The fact that she was there, at a market nearly two hours from her home base, on a summer Saturday, is a tribute to the market. (I believe she was buying cheese.)

I found this recipe in her book. Of course I tweaked a few things, but luckily I had the ingredients on hand, including Kerrygold Irish cheese, and this is delightfully quick and simple to make and lets the fish speak for itself. (BTW, My husband approved with the first bite.)

As ever, I cut this recipe in half for the two of us, although I kept the original amount of sauce because, well, I like sauce. I also added the tarragon to the recipe, because I thought the tart taste would go well with the Dijon mustard, and I happened to have a bunch of fresh tarragon on hand.

And if anyone can explain to me how you divide a large fish fillet into similar-sized pieces that will cook evenly, I will be eternally grateful. At least in this recipe the sauce kind of insulates the fish pieces, so none were overcooked.

Gratin of Cod

Ingredients: (Note: original amounts given)

6 pieces of cod fillet (total 36 oz, 

   cut into 6 pieces)
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups grated aged Irish Cheddar cheese
1 Tblsp Dijon mustard
4 Tblsp heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold all the fish pieces in one layer.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Arrange the pieces in the dish in a single layer.

Grate the cheese. Mix it with the mustard and cream and tarragon and spread over the fish on both sides. (It can be prepared to this point and refrigerated.)

Ingredients, mixed

Ready for the oven
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. The top should be golden and bubbly.

Thank you, Darina--it was delicious. We'll be making it again. (And hope to see you again soon!)

Right now I'm between books: Cruel Winter (County Cork #5) was published last March (the sixth book in the series, Many a Twist, will appear in January 2018), and A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11) will come out in November. Which does not mean I am slacking off! I'll be launching the new Victorian Village series in June 2018, and I'm already writing the second in that series (no cover yet). I'll try to keep you up to date!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saucy Spicy Baked Cod #Recipe @PegCochran #Giveaway

We've been trying to eat more fish since it is low in calories and good for you. Okay, I've been forcing my poor husband to eat more fish even though he doesn't care if it's low in calories and good for him!

Fish is expensive so we're sticking to the more mundane fish--no Chilean sea bass or anything like that. I've found that cod is reasonably priced and a fairly "meaty" fish so you don't feel like you want to go out for a burger or pizza after you've had it for dinner.

This recipe is super simple. I found it online somewhere and tweaked it a bit. It's quite tasty considering that cod is a relatively bland fish. I served it with a salad of massaged kale which I will tell you about in my next blog post--stay tuned!

2 cod fillets, (to serve two people -- ours were around 4 ounces each)
salt and pepper to taste
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
chopped garlic--I used around 2 teaspoons
squeeze of lemon juice
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce--more or less depending on your tolerance for heat

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Rinse fish and pat dry

Combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and sriracha together and stir

Season cod with salt and pepper and pour the marinade over fish

Marinate in a baking dish for 30 minutes (turn the fish over halfway through)

Bake for approximately 20 - 25 minutes until fish is flaky


This is a super easy and healthy weeknight dinner!

I am so excited that book #2 in my Cranberry Cove Series will be out on May 3! Have you pre-ordered Berry the Hatchet yet? You know you want to catch up with Monica, Jeff, Gina and the gang!

The entire town of Cranberry Cove is popping with excitement. Monica Albertson is baking cranberry goodies by the dozen and shopkeepers are decking out their storefronts for the first annual Winter Walk—an event dreamed up by the mayor to bring visitors to the town during a normally dead time of year.

But it’s the mayor who turns up dead during the grand opening ceremony, his lifeless body making its entrance in a horse-drawn sleigh. Monica’s mother and stepmother quickly become the prime suspects when it’s discovered that the mayor was dating both of them, and to make things worse, her half brother Jeff uncovers a clue buried near one of the bogs on Sassamanash Farm. Now it’s up to Monica to find out who really put the mayor on ice.



If you haven't read the first book in the series, Berried Secrets, leave a comment below to be entered to win a copy!

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Horseradish Crusted Fish

I seem to be bouncing between fish and cookie recipes. I know, it’s confusing, because the fish recipes are quick and healthy, and the cookie recipes? Well, they’re cookies: they’re good for your soul, if not your body. The good news is, next week you’ll get another cookie recipe!

Before we jump into the fish recipe, one note on fillets: they are never the same size. The only exception that I know of is swordfish, which I think they cut with a circular saw so every piece is neat and tidy and matches every other piece. Makes it easy to cook, but I’ve never been very fond of eating swordfish. If you’re dealing with fillets of reasonable-size ordinary fish, some will be thin, some will be thick, and some will be both at the same time. Don’t worry about it. Just don’t cook them too fast (or you will get raw and dry bits in the same piece), and take them out a bit sooner than you expect, if you’re using your oven or broiler, because they’ll keep cooking from their own heat for a little longer. And using a crust like this one helps them stay moist.

Horseradish-Crusted Fish

4 fillets (say, 5-8 oz. each) of sturdy white fish (cod, hake, haddock)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg white
1 Tblsp prepared horseradish (mild or strong—your choice)
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dry thyme)
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (or line it with foil, then spray). Place the fillets on the baking sheet and drizzle with the lemon juice.

Okay, I could have trimmed these to
make them neat and square, but that
would have wasted fish. These two
totaled about one pound.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg white, horseradish and thyme and mix well. Brush over the top of the fillets.

Stir together the panko, cheese, salt and pepper. Press the mixture on the top of the fillets.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the topping is golden and the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve warm. I added soba noodles as a side, because they cook even more quickly than the fish (and they’re still kind of a novelty to me)!

Thanks to all you readers, A Turn for the Bad is on Barnes and Noble's national top ten list for a second week! I'm so glad you enjoy following Maura Donovan as she settles into her new life in Ireland--with some unexpected twists and turns.

If for some reason (you've been living in a cave?) you haven't got a copy yet, you can find it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, and in plenty of bookstores.

Oh, right, there's a boat on the cover. Maybe that's why I've been thinking about fish!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Steamed Chili-Garlic Fish

by Sheila Connolly

I like to eat fish. My father liked to eat fish (probably because it was fast and easy to cook, not to mention fairly healthy). He even had a surf-casting rod for the Jersey Shore (not that I remember him catching anything). When we lived inland, he’d track down a fish vendor. I will admit I took one look at some raw tuna he brought home once and said, “that’s not fish!” but that didn’t stop him.

Even though we live in Massachusetts, it’s hard to get interesting fish around here (one of my ongoing pet peeves). All right, I know—fish species have been overfished, which means the boats have to go increasingly far out to sea to find anything, and that means it has to be held for a while, and that means freezing them. I understand, really. And to be fair, the quick freezing process works pretty well. (Except for flounder, which I’ve found turns into a pile of mush very fast when you try to cook the once-frozen kind).

But there are dependable, firm-fleshed, large-flake white fish that are pretty versatile, which means you can use them in almost any recipe you can think of. Think of fish like cod and haddock and maybe hake as a blank canvas with which you can make almost recipe—creamy or crunchy, sweet or sour. And it cooks quickly, as my father knew.

This cod hangs inside the Massachusetts
State House in Boston
Since this is Massachusetts, I vote for cod, followed closely by haddock—we usually get whichever is cheaper at our market, and the prices do vary a lot. (Could I tell them apart in a blind tasting? I doubt it.) But cod is still “our” fish.

This is a quick and tasty recipe that’s great for a cold, damp winter’s night.

Steamed Chile-Garlic Cod
Ingredients (for two servings):

2 8-oz cod (or other white fish) fillets
4 Tblsp Asian sweet chili sauce (also 
   known as Thai chili sauce)
2 tsp rice vinegar
4 tsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Lime slices (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the glaze, in a small bowl mix the chili sauce, rice vinegar and soy sauce.

Cut two sheets of parchment paper, large enough to wrap your fillets. (Note: it’s hard to get two fillets that are exactly the same size. Don’t worry about it.) Dab a bit of the sauce on each piece of parchment paper, then place one fillet on each sheet and brush with the glaze. Top with the garlic slices (and the lime if you’re using it).

Fold the parchment paper over the fillets, crimping the edges to seal the packets. Place them in a baking pan.

Bake 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets). Remove the pan from the oven, place the packets on a plate and open them carefully (watch out for the steam!). 

Drizzle any of the juices from the packets over the fillets and serve with rice (okay, I got daring—I had some black rice hanging around and I thought it would look pretty with the fish. If you’re wondering, the black rice cooks just like white rice but takes longer.)

Oh, right, there's this new book out this week. 
Notice there's a boat on the cover, which may explain why I just gave you a fish recipe.

A Turn for the Bad is available at

And here's a fish-seller at the Skibbereen
Farmer's Market. Gorgeous (the fish, that is),
aren't they? And it's a treat to watch the
people fillet the fish--fast!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Potato Squares

Like Wendy, I love Cook's Illustrated Magazine and America's Test Kitchen.  I was looking through one of their annual cookbooks and found a recipe for Lemon Herbed Cod and Crispy Potatoes.  We're trying to eat more fish, and cod is one of our favorites.  To be honest, I usually put it in a glass baking dish and pop it into a 400 degree oven for twenty minutes.  It's always perfect.  But that's not much of a recipe!

I have made this twice and, naturally, had to play with it a bit.  The pictures are from my first effort, when I tried to slice the potatoes as thin as possible.  Granted, the edges did turn very crispy, and tasted okay, if not a tad scorched, but in the future I'll be slicing them about 1/4 inch thick so they won't get quite so scorched along the edges.

The original recipe called for chopped garlic, but I shied away from that having burned garlic before.  I tossed the potatoes with garlic powder and paprika the second time and that worked well.  If you're a fan of rosemary, I think it would work well here.

The lemon on top makes a very pretty garnish (it's supposed to be on a sprig of thyme), but honestly, it didn't add anything to the flavor.  Do it if you're having company, and when you're alone, squeeze some fresh lemon on after it cooks if you're crazy for lemon on your fish.

It makes a pretty presentation, but you'll need two spatulas to lift the potatoes without messing them up.  Fortunately, if they slip, they're easy to reassemble.  I really love the look of these.  They're simple to make, and I can imagine them topped with salmon as well.  Spice them up with your favorite flavors!

It's a nice light lunch or dinner, with very little fat, except for the good omega 3 in the cod.  With all due respect to the incredible cooks at Cook's, I think calling the potatoes crispy in the title is a bit misleading since the entire portion under the fish is nicely cooked and tastes great, but certainly isn't crispy.

Cod on Potato Squares

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
4 skinless cod fillets
lemon slices (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

Move oven rack to slot between bottom and middle.  Preheat to 425.

Grease a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Don't skimp on this step or the potatoes will stick.

Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Toss with garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and salt.  Layer in squares so that each row of potato slices slightly overlaps the previous one.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Place one piece of cod on each potato square.  Top with bits of butter and a lemon slice if using.  Bake 15 more minutes.


Halloween is almost upon us.  Don't miss our special Halloween week starting next Monday.  Spookalicious dishes are planned, as well as a few prizes and treats!