This is the story of a meal that turned out good, but could have been better….I made a bit of a mistake, but it was good eating, and it is only food afterall….
I picked up about 3/4 pound of black cod (also known as sablefish) at the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop. It was a Friday night, I was tired, and I did not want to do some kind of fancy cooking. So I figured I would use the Mediterranean fish recipe that is already posted on this site. It is a basic “chop up the stuff and bake it” kind of recipe. I had an extra red bell pepper so I chopped it up and added it to the usual tomato mix. I used 6 tomatoes; it was a bit much for that amount of fish, but I had a bunch of tomatoes I was trying to use up. Altogether I had about 6 cups of tomatoes chopped, 3 Tablespoons capers, 1/4 cup of small Nicoise type home-made olives pitted (you can use Kalamata), 1/4 cup chopped basil, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 2 cloves garlic crushed, 1 very small red onion chopped along with the chopped red bell pepper and 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. I mixed all these ingredients together to put on the fish.
I put the cod in a baking dish, and this is where I made a mistake. With so many tomatoes, I should have used a 9 by 13 glass baking dish but I used this Pyrex casserole dish instead. It was just a bit too small for the volume of tomatoes. I had cut the two filets in half, and removed any bones I could find with needle nosed pliers. I put 1/2 cup of white wine and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the baking dish and put the fish on top of it.
I baked it at 350 for 15 minutes, at which point I realized it really was getting soupy so I upped the heat to 375 for a few minutes, then finally 400. After 35 minutes I knew the fish was done, but the pan had quite a bit of liquid in it.
I took 2 pieces of sourdough levain bread and ground them in the food processor with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to make bread crumbs. This time instead of using the Pecorino Romano cheese, I decided to use a low-fat feta cheese. So I put 2 ounces of that crumbled up into the bread crumb mixture and sprinkled it all over the fish. Then I popped it under the broiler until it was all nice and brown.
I served it up and it looked nice on the plate. I had some Yukon gold potatoes which I boiled and mashed with milk, salt and pepper and a tiny bit of organic margarine, and some Italian green beans which I simply boiled and served up with it.
The dish has great flavors though and I encourage you to try cooking fish this way. This is a fish recipe for people who are not that fond of fish. In fact Adrian had eaten 1/4 of the pan and was saying “Where is the fish?”. That cod had just sort of fallen apart into the vegetable mixture, but it really was a tasty mix.
Nutrition Tip: Black cod, otherwise known as sablefish, is a sustainably harvested fish according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. You can check out their list and download a guide at this link: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx.
Black cod is a very rich fish and it is a powerhouse of nutrition. It has 2 1/2 times the omega-3 fats of salmon, which itself is considered to be an excellent source of omega-3 fats. Salmon has about 670 mg of omega-3s per oz. whereas black cod has a whopping 1400 mg. in the same amount. Omega-3 fats are considered by researchers to be one of the prime contributors to the health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet. They lower triglyceride (a type of fat in the blood) so effectively that there is a prescription omega-3 fat product on the market. They also reduce inflammation and clotting and are a critical component of the brain. The list of research on the benefits of Omega-3 fats is so extensive it is beyond what I can cover here. Suffice it to say I feel they are essential to good health in a multitude of ways and I make sure both myself and the people I love get omega-3 fats in their diets.
© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.