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!


  1. What a great idea, having sliced potatoes on fish! Thanks for the tip about using 2 spatulas to keep from breaking the potatoes up. We're trying to eat more fish here, so this is one we'll add to the recipe box! Thanks, Krista!

  2. Well, you know I'm a huge fan of your Rosti potatoes. (And anyone who hasn't seen Krista's post on that dish should click here .) These potato squares rank just as high on my excitement scale. (Yes, pathetically, I get excited about a new potato dish. :)) Love the idea of garlic powder, too. Great solution to the issue of charred garlic. Thanks for another wonderful recipe idea, Krista. A deliciously clever start to the week!

    ~ Cleo

  3. How simple and delicious is this! Wow. Love the potatoes just laid out so easy. Nice.


  4. Sounds really good and I bet you could use almost any kind of white fish. Saving this one - will be great for Lent too. Love fish.

  5. Elizabeth, it seems like everyone is trying to eat more fish. In a year of two, they'll tell us to avoid all fish! I think cod might be acceptable to kids, though, because it doesn't taste so fishy.

    ~ Krista

  6. Cleo, the Rosti potatoes are more fun, but these are good, too, just not as crunchy! It's a nice easy dish, and I have considered making just the potatoes!

    ~ Krista

  7. I think this is a dish you would like, Avery. And it really is pretty!

    ~ Krista

  8. Anonymous, I think you're right about using almost any white fish. I'd love to try it with chicken, but the cooking time would be too long.

    ~ Krista

  9. I like this recipe..adding it to my collection.

  10. Good for you and good looking too. Another winner, Krista!