Dinner Menu: Tuscan Cod and Bruschetta

Melted Bruscetta copyright

When I was in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles, we went out to dinner to a cute little fish diner, right on the water. The fish was amazingly fresh and I realized how much I miss it when I’m not on either coast. With that in mind, I went looking for one of my fish recipes. This one popped up and I thought it sounded spring like, so that’s how we got here.

When picking fish, make sure it doesn’t smell fishy, just fresh and like clean water.  It should be firm to the touch and any liquid should be clear, not milky. It helps to know your butcher, they’ll usually direct you to the freshest fillets. You should plan on using it the day you purchase it. You can substitute any firm white fish in this recipe.

  1. Tuscan Cod
  2. Bruschetta
  3. Broccoli
  4. Grapes

Tuscan Cod

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ diced red pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 4-6 oz cod fillets

skillet

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the skillet, over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and pepper for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, cumin and crushed pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and add remaining oil. Once heated, add fish fillets and cook 5 minutes, turn over, spoon sauce on top, cover and cook additional 5 minutes over medium heat. Fish should flake easily with a fork.

Bruschetta

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 French baguette, sliced in half, lengthwise
  • 3 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz grated mozzarella

baking sheet

Mix oil and garlic together. Lay baguette halves on baking sheet, cut side up and brush with oil mixture. Broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown (watch carefully). Remove and top evenly with tomato slices, basil and mozzarella. Broil for 2 more minutes until cheese is melted. Slice and serve.

Shopping List:

  • 1 red onion
  • ½ red pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 4-6 oz cod fillets
  • 1 French baguette
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 2 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz grated mozzarella
  • 1 bunch of grapes
  • 1 head of broccoli or 16 oz frozen

Also: cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil,

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Sorta Banh Mi Sammich

I’ve about given up finding the sort of bread that would make these things authentic.  There aren’t any bakeries around here close, let alone a Vietnamese bakery.  Did the Google search looking for recipes and was disheartened at those I found.  Too much work for an iffy payoff.  Seems the French style frozen semi baked baguettes I get at Kroger’s are as close as can be reasonably managed.  I still remember the little bread rolls I was able to buy in Vietnam from the Coke kids.  They were chewy and a bit sweet, the only real disappointment I had with them was when I realized that those weren’t poppy seeds-too many legs on a close inspection.  They would have made perfect banh mi, strangely though I never had one while in country.

As far as banh mi recipes go there are few rules.  The “generic” banh mi will have mayo spread on the bread, a meat of some kind, the daikon and carrot pickle I posted on yesterday, and a generous bunch of cilantro.  I won’t link to any of the many recipes I found, would be redundant-just Google banh mi recipe and there they are.

It may be too early for the pickle I made yesterday though I think not.  Used some anyway to put this one together.  Can’t eat cilantro so I made do with spinach leaves.  I used ham for this trial run, I may get fancier later.

Enjoy!