Friday, January 25, 2008

An Excellent Fish Dish!

Last night's dinner was the second success out of the latest issue of Eating Well. So many recipes caught my eye this time, and I'm thrilled that many of them use pantry staples to get dinner on the table! Last night's was another one of those. The only thing I needed to pick up was the fish, as I had everything else on hand already. And while I switched out the fish for a different white fish, the Baked Cod with Chorizo and Beans was a great treatment for fish.

I used the kielbasa called for in the recipe instead of the chorizo, because the only chorizo I have on hand is Mexican, and that one is not smoked. I knew I wanted a smokey flavor, so I opted for the kielbasa instead. The "sauce" came together very quickly, as shallots, sausage and thyme were sauteed together, and then halved grape tomatoes and white beans were added with broth to finish the sauce. I'm just not a fan of wine in my cooking, so I used chicken broth instead of the white wine. I prefer to drink my wine- I don't care for it much in my food. I put the fish fillets in a baking dish, added the bean mixture, and then it baked for a few minutes. Quick, easy, and very tasty!

In fact, I am thinking that the bean sauce in general was delightful with just a touch of smokey sausage in it. I could see it used in many other applications- or even by itself as a side dish. Honestly, I think it would also be very nice with shrimp instead of the fish, and Andy and I are thinking that this would be an excellent candidate for packet cooking as well. We'll be playing with that, as we're always looking for a camping alternative.

Sorry, I didn't snap a picture. I had someplace to be after dinner last night, so it was kind of a dine-n-dash night, and I just didn't think of the camera. You can check out the recipe at the Eating Well website for a great picture if you feel so inclined. Be sure and come on back tomorrow for the first edition of Menu Planning 101.

Baked Cod with Chorizo and White Beans

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 ounces Spanish chorizo or turkey kielbasa, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided (I used chicken stock)
1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds Pacific cod, cut into 4 pieces
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, chorizo (or kielbasa) and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the wine is almost evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in beans and 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat.

3. Sprinkle fish with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; place in the prepared baking dish. Top each piece of fish with equal amounts of the tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup per fillet). Pour the remaining 1/4 cup wine into the pan and cover the pan with foil. Bake until the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the fish with the sauce spooned over the top.

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