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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Good Woman's Codfish Casserole - Meatless Monday




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Here's another entrée that works well for those whose convictions lead them to avoid meat, all, or some, of the time. Variations of this casserole have been popular in port cities of the old and new world for centuries. The dish was a staple of peasant kitchens throughout Europe and could be found anywhere codfish was plentiful and good, frugal women had large families to feed. The casserole featured today can be traced to the kitchens of Marseille, where its ingredients were all available for much of the year. In France, cod, called le roi de la mer (king of the sea), was very popular and even now is the country's best selling fish. That is not surprising. The fish is lean and tender and its mild, sweet flavor is a great foil for the stronger flavors with which it is usually paired. While some chopping is involved, this is an easy entree to make and it is almost foolproof. There are, however, a couple of potential pitfalls. This dish gets its flavor and texture from celery and green olives. It is important not to overcook the celery, so it is best to follow the instructions for cooking time. It also helps to keep the celery in pieces no smaller than an inch in length. Olives vary in strength and to prevent their flavor from dominating the dish I've found it helps to quickly "blanch" them. This is done by placing them in water that is brought to a boil, then draining them before they are tossed with other ingredients in the casserole. If you have good knife skills the dish can be table ready in 45 minutes. If you are pokey, as I am, it's best to count on an hour. I serve this dish in shallow soup bowls over mounds of brown or white rice. Please remember, Atlantic cod is on Seafood Watch lists, so try to use a sustainably harvested alternative such as Pacific cod. Here's the recipe for this robust casserole.

Codfish Casserole...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by the World's Healtiest Foods

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced thick
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups celery, cut diagonally about 1 inch long
1 (15- oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup green olives cut in fourths
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 lbs thick cod filets, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1) Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, place olives in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain.
3) Add garlic and celery and sauté for another minute. Add drained diced tomatoes, green olives and broth. Stir, cover, and simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until celery is tender.
4) Place cod, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chili flakes on top of celery and continue to simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes, or until fish is cooked. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over brown or white rice. Yield: 4 servings.

Cook's Notes: Use thick cut cod filets. Thin pieces will fall apart. Make sure celery is not cut too small. It is a dominant vegetable in this recipe and should be cut into 1-inch pieces for best flavor. Depending on temperature of your stove, you may want to simmer on medium-low or low. This should be a strong bubbling of sauce without boiling. This will intensify the flavor without cooking the sauce away. If it looks like it's getting dry, reduce the heat. You want a finished dish that has sauce.






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You might also enjoy these recipes:
Moroccan Cod Smothered in Sweet Onions - The Spiced Life
Fresh Cod and Potato Cakes - One Perfect Bite
Pistachio Crusted Cod - Beyond the Peel
Baked Cod Oreganata - One Perfect Bite
Crispy Oven-Fried Cod - Farmgirl Gourmet
Fisherman's Pie - Chow and Chatter
Cod Wrapped in Crispy Potatoes - Kalofagas
West Coast Ling Cod Cakes - Gastronomical Sovereignty
Cod Fritters - Yolanda's Cakes and More
Salt Cod Chowder with Garlic Aioli - Healthy Green Kitchen

57 comments :

Ginny said...

My mouth is watering!!!

Marsha @ The Harried Cook said...

That looks delicious! I love fish and I glad you've shared another way for me to make it! :) Thanks!

Jean said...

oohh this looks really good! i'll skip meat for this anytime :)

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

This looks really great! I don't have enough seafood recipes. It's also really interesting to hear a little bit about the history of this. Thanks Mary

Tamara said...

this is delicious, I love this kind of meal!

Christine's Pantry said...

I love this post. Mouth watering.

Priya said...

Codfish casserole looks simply irresistible and yummy..

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I have some white fish in the freezer, not cod admittedly, but I am sure it will be a good recipe to use it for. Diane

Kris Ngoei said...

Very enticing and colorful dish! It is definitely healthy, I might just change cod fish into some local fish, and pretty sure it will turn out just as delicious :-)

Like the way you create some links back to the past posts posted on the same day on previous years!

tandysinclair.com said...

I will look out for Cod when we are in France next week :)

Ana Rita said...

Great casserole and i just adore cod, so it must be a wonderfull dish!

Kisses,
Rita

sanjeeta kk said...

I love that Lemon rice cake, Mary. Gonna try it soon.
Take care.

Margarida said...

Mary, at home all like a lot of cod, is indeed a rare week that I did not do this fish once or twice, I've taken your recipe for my notebook, is that it is simply delicious and so I never experienced! ! I loved it!

Kisses

Suman Singh said...

Protein packed meal..sounds easy and delicious.

Pam said...

This totally appeals to my good peasant roots!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Good Morning, Mary! This dish looks delicious, as always! And, I am going back to check out the two-year-ago rice cake!! blessings ~ tanna

The Blonde Duck said...

YUM!

Sabrina said...

I am always looking for something to do with seafood! This looks so easy but elegant! What a great dish to entertain with!

Kim said...

I really like this casserole and I will try it soon because it looks really good!

Parsley Sage said...

Such a pretty fish dish. With fish being pretty much everywhere in Cayman, I'm always looking for a new way to prepare it. My knife skills are not pretty so perhaps I'll give myself 90 minutes just to be safe :)

Thanks so much for sharing!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Mary, I have been craving a dish like this one for weeks now! I promise this is one I will be making soon! Good advice on the celery cooking and finding the right cod!

Clint said...

Looks fantastic, Mary! A really different way to serve fish in an attractice presentation.

Louanne said...

Delicious recipe, Mary. I'm always on the lookout for flavorful fish recipes, and yours definitely fits the bill.

MarmandeintheKitchen said...

I love cod, this looks delicious!

kitchen flavours said...

This looks so delicious! Each time I see a cod dish, I'm jealous! Cod is extremely expensive over here, and we love cod! Sometimes we would have it as a treat, always steamed, as we love it that way. Wish that cod is plentiful here. Would love to try this casserole dish, looks really good!

Valérie said...

Cod is definitely a terrific fish. This casserole looks delicious, thank you for sharing!

amy b.s. said...

this looks amazing. and reminds me of my grandma cooking cream of cod which sounds awful, but is so good!

Claudia said...

I have never used cod in a casserole per se - simply fresh. Simply delicious. Like the hint about blanching the olives. You always give me a daily tip of the day! This might be a grand alternative to our Good Friday seafood pasta day.

Shannon said...

I am loving it! You have so many great recipes that are truly unique. I can't wait to start making some for the family!

Maria said...

Great dinner idea!

dr.antony said...

Cod is not a favorite in this part.Hamour and Kingfish lead the chefs. I think taste is a matter of habit.
My mother used to cook cod in a traditional recipe,using coconut bits and red chillies.

Gloria said...

Mary lovely and yummy casserole, look nice!! have a lovely and nice day! gloria

Karen Harris said...

I'm not a huge fish fan but I do like cod. This is a lovely sounding dish with great fresh flavors. With my new leaf of eating less meat and more lighter dishes, I'll have to give this one a try.

PeggyR said...

WOW that sounds good. I just had a cod sandwich last week.

cajunlicious said...

Mary, I cannot wait to try this. It looks so delicious & healthy!

Thank you so much for the lovely comment you left on my blog. I appreciate you! Have a great day!

Jennifurla said...

This seems so light and fresh, Loving it! Thanks for the recipe.

That Girl said...

I like that your casserole is stovetop

Wendy Irene said...

I have trouble with the flavor of olives but I have never tried blanching them. Thank you for the suggestion! Have a beautiful Monday :)

Gen said...

This casserole looks deicious! I like cod very much and the little story behind it is really interesting!

Juliana said...

Oh! This codfish dish looks very inviting...I'd love to have it with a bowl of rice and not miss any of the sauce. Have a great week Mary :-)

Cooking Creation said...

Lovely colors in this dish and it sounds so good! Thanks for sharing!

StephenC said...

Sometime when you have nothing else to do I would love to know your thoughts about how to use frozen (namely, making a silk purse out of a sow's ear).

teresa said...

oh YUM! what a great way to dress up fish, delicious!

lilyng said...

mary

i am glad i made you smile and hope that you are feeling better.

take care

The Sudden Cook said...

Anything with dried chilli flakes gets my vote!

mia xara said...

Very flavorful dish, Mary! Thank you for pointing out the details to make cooking it smoother!!Have a good week!!

Cheah said...

This looks delicious and healthy too!

bellini said...

I love it Mary. Cod is a very mild flavoured fish so this gives it a little zing:D

Helene said...

Great choice for meatless monday and love the pic :)

Joe Ambrosino said...

Thanks for the reminder to use Pacific Cod Mary,and for the tip to blanch the olives first. I think Current Wife will enjoy this.

yummychunklet said...

I wonder if this would also work with tilapia. (It was recently on sale at my local grocer's.)

Tammy said...

This is beautiful and mouthwatering, Mary! And I absolutely love that lemon rice cake- yummy!! :)

xx,
Tammy

Food Glorious Food! said...

Love the idea but would it be possible to replace with other fish? It's not easy for me to buy cod here. :) Thanks for sharing xoxoxox

Elaine said...

I think it is so interesting that this dish has casserole has celery in it. It must give it a great flavor and sure looks delicious.

Maria said...

Such a colourful, tasty and light meal. This looks great!

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, This codfish sounds wonderful. I would love it with a nice piece of crusty bread to dip. Wonderful. Blessings, Catherine

hobby baker said...

We tried this for dinner tonight. Yum! It reminds me of a similar fish stew my mom used to make often when I was growing up. ☺ Thanks for sharing.

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