Alaska Cod with Sauteed Vegetables

February 26, 2016 – I love seafood.  Especially seafood from my two favorite gulfs:  the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Alaska.

I love fresh caught seafood.  Don’t try to foist off on me those ersatz farmed things.  And God forbid the awful GMO stuff.  SAY NO TO FRANKENFISH!  Got the message?

Fresh caught.  It has taste.  It has nutrients.  It’s good.  And it’s good for you.  It will make you live longer.

Historically, the humble cod has played an important role.  Dried cod was a valuable food staple back in the 10th and 11th centuries when finding food was the focus of every day’s activity.  It was the search for cod that drove the Vikings to kick off the exploration of the Earth’s oceans.  Without that gnawing hunger we might yet not know the full extent of our world.  And I’ll let the debate over whether that is good or bad go to another website.

This evening I had some Alaska cod on hand.  A very nice, light white fish.  And it’s inexpensive.  I tried something a little different.  Not the usual fish preparation.  But it was delicious.  And so easy to prepare.

Alaska Cod with Sauteed Vegetables

(Serves two)

Two cod filets, approximately 1/2 pound each

Salt, pepper, and dried dill to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

8 ounces sliced mushrooms (baby bellas or your choice)

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons capers

Preheat the oven to 350.

Season the cod filets to taste with salt, pepper, and dried dill.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.  Be careful not to overcook

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the mushrooms, onion, red pepper, and garlic.  Saute’ for approximately ten minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked down and the onions and peppers are soft.

Deglaze the skillet with white wine.  Add the capers.  Cook for another five minutes or so, or until the wine is almost completely evaporated and the capers are heated through.  Do not let the vegetables become too dry.

Plate the filets onto two plates.  Spoon the sautéed vegetables over them.

Bon temps!

 

Beef Stew? No! Great, slow-cooked beef stew!

February 1, 2017 – Beef stew.  Perfect winter comfort food.  But no big deal, right?    Nothing special, right?  Well, maybe.

It really depends on whether you want a beef stew or a great beef stew.  I prefer a great beef stew.

The slow cooker is perfect for making a great beef stew.  Prep is relatively easy and quick.  Then everything goes in the pot and it cooks itself.  No need to worry about it until it’s time to eat.

Even better is one of those slow cookers with an insert designed to be used on the stove top.  You can brown everything that needs browning in the insert, add the other ingredients, set the insert into the shell, and done!  Yeah, I have one of those.

If you don’t have one of those, then the browning has to be done in a separate skillet.

Either way, the long, slow cooking process allows the flavors to get comfortable with each other.  To join together in an amalgam worthy of adulation.

In the recipe below, I used dried parsley and rosemary because that’s what I had.  Fresh would be even better.

Beef Stew

1/2 cup flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs beef, cubed

1 large onion, cut into large chunks

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 large potato, cubed

2 large Portobello mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup red wine

1 cup beef stock (or broth)

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried, chopped rosemary

2 bay leaves

Salt & crushed red pepper to taste

Coat the beef cubes with flour.

Heat the olive oil in whatever container you’re using for browning.  Add the beef, shaking off any excess flour.

When the beef begins to brown, add the onion and garlic.  Cook for three or four minutes, stirring, as the beef continues to brown and the vegetables soften.

Add the potato, mushrooms, paprika, and cumin.  Cook for a minute or two, continuing to stir to mix the spices with the other ingredients.

Add the red wine, scraping up the fond (those little, delicious brown bits) from the bottom of the browning pan.

Pour in the beef stock and tomatoes.  Add the parsley, rosemary, and white pepper.

Season to taste with salt and crushed red pepper.

Cook for six to eight hours on low, four to five hours on high.

Bon temps!