Tag Archives: croutons

Cornbread Crusted Cod

I remember a day when I was eight or so.  I was at my grandparents’ house.  Some of the guys had gone fishing and came home with a couple of enormous fish. They set up a couple of saw horses and threw a piece of wood over and starting carving those babies up in the backyard.  I watched from the bing cherry tree that was my usual perch.  Big slabs of firm, white fish, not as smelly and gross as I was expecting. When I asked what it was I was told it was cod.  My grandma fried a big batch of it up and it was some of the best fish ‘n chips I’ve ever had to this day.

Cod is a great fish to cook with.  Very versatile.  It’s firm enough that it doesn’t fall apart when you cook it, but tender and mild, and goes with a variety of flavors and ingredients.  It’s also usually pretty inexpensive and available year-round.  And it’s an ocean-friendly choice as well (who doesn’t want to save the ocean?).  For the freshest cod, choose the whiter filets.  If they look a little grey, they are likely not as fresh as they should be.

I found these great cornbread croutons and used them to make the crumb coating for these filets.  I don’t see any reason why another kind of crouton (or bread crumbs) couldn’t be substituted instead if you don’t happen to have these on hand, but I did enjoy the corny texture and flavor.

Cornbread Crusted Cod.  With Lentil & Spinach salad on the side.  Yum!

Cornbread Crusted Cod. With Lentil & Spinach salad on the side. Yum!

Cornbread Crusted Cod

3-4 Cod Filets
1 tbsp. mayo
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cayenne
3/4 – 1 cup cornbread croutons
Fresh ground pepper

For sauce:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp. capers (coarsely chopped if they are large)
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  In a small bowl mix mayo, dijon, lemon juice and cayenne.  Brush onto both sides of fish filets.

A little zippy sauce to coat the fish.  Tastes great and makes the crumbs stick really nicely!

A little zippy sauce to coat the fish. Adds flavor, keeps the fish moist and makes the crumbs stick really nicely!

Put croutons in a ziplock bag and grind some black pepper in there with them (if you don’t have cornbread croutons, any kind will work for this).  Using a rolling pin or the flat side of a tenderizing hammer (or anything really), smash the croutons into crumbs.

These cornbread croutons were a new discovery for me.  If you can't find them, you can use whatever croutons you have.

These cornbread croutons were a new discovery for me. If you can’t find them, you can use whatever croutons you have.

One at a time, put fish filets in the bag and shake to coat with crumbs.  Lay out on the baking sheet.

My own version of shake n bake.

My own version of shake n bake.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork and crumb coating is crispy and golden brown.  To make a quick sauce, mix a couple of tablespoons of mayo with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of capers.  Drizzle over the top or serve with lemon wedges.

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Caesar Salad

I went to a restaurant once and thought I’d eat light and order a salad.  What came was a towering sculpture of a salad, well over a foot tall, slathered in dressing and who knows what else.  It was tasty but I just remember thinking that nobody needs to eat that much salad.  I would have been eating lighter if I had ordered the burger and fries.

This is the first time I’ve made homemade Caesar dressing and it was wonderful.  Don’t be afraid of the anchovies.  They add a depth of flavor that is surprising without tasting fishy at all.  In fact, if you didn’t know they were in there you probably wouldn’t guess.  I ate a double portion of this, making me think of the “tower of salad”.  The dressing was just so good I didn’t want to stop.  You can eat this as a main dish (I did) or add in a grilled chicken breast or salmon fillet for a more hearty meal.

Homemade Caesar Salad

Homemade Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad
(from Stirring The Pot, by Tyler Florence)

4 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Juice from 2 lemons
2 tbsp. water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with a pinch of salt and a little olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce
1 bunch fresh hydroponic watercress
1/4 French baguette, thinly sliced and toasted

In a blender combine the anchovies, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and water and process for 30 seconds, until smooth.  With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil.  Stir in the parmesan, a pinch of salt and some pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the salad, smear the garlic paste over the inside of a large salad bowl.  Tear the lettuce into the bowl, add watercress and toss together.   Add enough dressing to coat the salad as desired.  Toss well and garnish with additional cheese and baguette croutons.  Serves 4.


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