Tag Archives: cod

Crispy Polenta and Braised Swiss Chard with Cod Poached in White Wine

18 Dec

I apologize for the slow-down in posts this week.  I’m finishing up my first set of law school exams on Monday, so I’ve been preoccupied with studying and have been relying mostly on old standbys for dinners.  Thus, not too much to report.

Today, I decided to spend a little bit of time in the kitchen and wanted to make use of a wonderful present from my future sister-in-law: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.  It’s a book I’ve been meaning to buy for awhile now but for some reason never got around to it.  It was a perfect gift and I’ll certainly be using it as a source of inspiration and recipes for many years to come.  Thanks, Abbie!

This dish was healthy, colorful, and packed with flavor.  The instructions look like a lot of work, but it was really very easy.  Other than the cooking and chilling of the polenta, this dish came together in 25 minutes or so.  I made the polenta yesterday, so there was very little work involved in this dish today.  I loved how it had all the classic flavors of a fish fry thanks to the crispy bread-like flavors of the polenta and the bright lemon of the Swiss chard but very little of the cholesterol and fat.  Yum!

Crispy Polenta and Braised Swiss Chard with Cod Poached in White Wine

Crispy Polenta:

6 cups homemade seafood stock

2 1/2 cups polenta

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, divided

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup coarsely grated very sharp cheddar

3 tbs. garlic hot sauce, divided

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Non-stick cooking spray

Bring seafood stock to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in polenta.  The mixture should be relatively soupy.  Stirring occasionally, let simmer 15-20 minutes until polenta is tender and most of the stock has evaporated/been absorbed.

Add 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown, plain Greek yogurt, cheddar and 2 tbs. of hot sauce, whisking constantly.  Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt and other ingredients as necessary.

Spray a  6″ x 10″ casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray (or whatever size you prefer – the smaller the dish, the longer you will need to chill the polenta).  Pour the polenta into the dish and drizzle with remaining tbs. of hot sauce.  Let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to refrigerator and chill until set, preferably overnight but at least 6-8 hours.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and remaining 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown over medium-high heat.  Add a 4″ x 4″ slice of polenta and sauté 4-5 minutes per side until light golden brown.

Place in preheated 350º oven to keep warm.  If you have a sous-chef or don’t mind a mad scramble at the end of a dish coming together, this isn’t necessary.  Simply wait until the fish is about to come out of the oven and begin to sauté polenta.

[Note: This recipe makes more polenta than you will use for the braised Swiss chard and cod poached in white wine presentation pictured above.  A few ideas for how to use the polenta before chilling include Merlot Mushrooms with Lemon Kohlrabi Greens and Polenta, Stuffed Cubanelles with Chipotle Sauce and Creamy Polenta, and Butternut Squash Polenta with Spicy Spinach and Shredded Pork.  After setting, consider Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Tomato Polenta and Eggs, and Pan Fried Polenta with Chilies, Corn, and a Fried Egg.  Simply substitute the recipe above for the recipe included and you’ll have a nice meal on your hands.]

Cod Poached in White Wine:

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

1 tbs. green onions, whites finely minced and green ends roughly chopped, 2 tbs. green ends reserved

2 fillets Pacific cod, defrosted if frozen (thicker fillets work better for this recipe)

2 tbs. Brummel & Brown, plus more for buttering

1 cup white wine, chilled (I used pinot grigio)

3 tbs. bottled clam juice, chilled

Water (if necessary)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Butter a small  oven proof cast iron sauce pan with Brummel & Brown.  Sprinkle half of the onion whites on the bottom of the dish.  Season the fillets lightly with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and arrange them on the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle the fillets with remaining onions and dot with 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown.  Pour in the white wine and clam juice.  If necessary, add cold water to barely cover.

Over low heat, bring liquid to almost a simmer.  Poaching liquid should be shimmering but not simmering.  Cover sauce pan with buttered waxed paper (I used aluminum foil, which may discolor the wine, but I didn’t have waxed paper.  It turned out fine nevertheless.).  Place the sauce pan in the bottom third of preheated oven.  Poach, maintaining the liquid at a near-simmer, for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.  When cooked, a fork should pierce the flesh easily but the fish should not be dry or overly flaky.

[While fish is poaching, begin to sauté braised swiss chard per below.]

Carefully remove the fish from the poaching liquid and place on a covered dish to keep warm.

Remove about 1/2 cup of poaching liquid.  Place the sauce pan with remaining poaching liquid over medium-high heat and add remaining 1 tbs. Brummel & Brown.  Briskly simmer the poaching liquid until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Braised Swiss Chard:

5-6 stems Swiss Chard, leaves removed from stems, all roughly chopped

3/4 cup reserved poaching liquid from above (can also use 1/2 cup of white wine or 1/2 cup of seafood or other stock)

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 tbs. olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Add Swiss chard stems and sauté until slightly tender, roughly 3-5 minutes.  Add Swiss chard leaves and stir to coat with olive oil and disperse garlic.  Sauté 2-3 minutes until leaves are slightly wilted.  Add lemon juice and reserved poaching liquid and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, uncovered, and cook until Swiss chard is soft and liquid has evaporated/been absorbed, about 5-8 minutes


2 squares crispy polenta (see above)

2 fillets cod poached in white wine (see above)

3 cups braised Swiss chard (see above)

2 tbs. green ends of green onions, reserved from above

Place square of crispy polenta on the plate.  Top with a heaping serving spoon filled with braised Swiss chard.  Top with fish.  Spoon reduced poaching liquid over fillets.  Garnish with green ends of green onions reserved from cod poached in white win

Healthy Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas

2 Sep

This May, my dad and mom took my brother and I on an amazing family trip to London and Ireland.  It was such an amazing experience and I’ve been a little nostalgic for fish and chips since then (we each ordered it at least once, so I tasted it a lot over the course of two weeks!).    However, I wanted to eliminate some of the fat and calories from the traditional version.  This turned out to be a healthy, tasty alternative.  The fish and peas together was the perfect bite.

Healthy Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas

Serves 2


2 fillets cod, defrosted if frozen (I used Bay Prime frozen brand)

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 cup cornmeal

1 tsp. paprika

2 tbs. olive oil

Cooking spray

Season fish with garlic salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Mix together cornmeal and paprika.  Brush fish with olive oil and coat throughly with  olive oil.  Coat with cornmeal mixture and spray both sides with cooking spray.  Place on a baking rack over a baking sheet and set aside.


4 small baking potatoes

Kosher salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Parboil potatoes roughly ten minutes.  Cut into wedges and season with salt, paprika and garlic powder.  Spray with cooking spray and place on a baking dish.  Bake, turning frequently, for 25 minutes.  Reduce heat to to 325 degrees and add fish to oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Mushy Peas:

1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. olive oil

1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)

Zest and juice of one lemon

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add defrosted peas, salt, pepper, milk and zest and juice of lemon.  Simmer, uncovered, until most liquid has evaporated.  Transfer peas and food processor and pulse for one second roughly 10 times until peas are mushed but still have texture.

Panko Crusted Cod with Cucumber Salad

12 Aug

It’s been ridiculously hot here in Cleveland, so I was looking for a quick, simple meal that had at least one cool component to balance out any heat.  This dish satisfied both requirements and ended up fresh, bright, and extremely tasty.

Panko Crusted Cod with Cucumber Salad

Serves 2


2 fillets of cod (I used frozen)

3/4 cup Japanese-style panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. dried sweet basil

1/2 tsp. dried dill

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2-3 tbs. whole grain Dijon mustard

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Cooking spray

Rinse cod fillets and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Allow the fish to sit in the refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour to evaporate any excess moisture.  Combine panko, dried sweet basil, dried dill, garlic powder and crushed red pepper.  Combine Dijon mustard and olive oil.  Roll fish in mustard/olive oil mixture until coated, then roll in panko.

Spray large sauté pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add fish and sauté 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillets, until crust is golden brown and fish is cooked through.

Cucumber Salad:

1 large cucumber, diced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

10-15 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. dried sweet basil

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

3 tbs. red wine vinegar

1/4 cup feta cheese, cut into small squares

Combine cucumber, salt, pepper, dried sweet basil and dried parsley.  Whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar to form a vinaigrette.  Add vinaigrette to cucumber mix and allow to cool in refrigerator 1-2 hours until chilled through and flavors have melded.  Top with squares of feta.

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