Sometimes dinner is born from what’s on special at the market – and often those dishes turn out to be the most interesting because they are unplanned and must be created from ingredients you have on hand. We try to have some type of seafood at least once a week, and this week Whole Foods had wild-caught, Alaskan cod on sale. Cod is a nice, mild, flaky fish that adapts well to different flavors. I had some coconut milk and limes that I needed to use, so I decided to try to poach the fish in a Thai-style broth. It was very yummy, but turned out a little spicier than I intended. However, James thought it was just the right amount of heat. When we try this again, I think some toasted cashews would be a great addition, and I’d also like to try basil instead of cilantro.
- 2 tablespoons butter (preferably from grass-fed cows)
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut into quarters lengthwise, then sliced crosswise
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 1 14 ounce can coconut milk (unsweetened), shaken well
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste (I make mine from The Spice House Thai Red Curry Powder, mixed with fish sauce to a paste)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla), if not used to prepare curry paste
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar, to taste (optional)
- ~ 2 or 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted cashews (optional)
- 1 to 1/2 pounds wild-caught cod fillets
- kosher salt
Heat butter in a heavy saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onions and red bell peppers until they are very soft, 5-10 minutes.
Add Thai red curry paste to the onions and peppers and stir well over the heat to mix. Pour in the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce (if not used to make curry paste), and palm sugar (if using). Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for around 10 minutes so the flavors can blend and the broth can reduce slightly.
In the meantime, rinse the cod with cold water, pat dry, and lightly season with salt. Fold the thinner parts of the fillets underneath, so the fish is relatively of the same thickness. Place the cod fillets in the saute pan, and nestle them into the broth as much as possible. Simmer on low, covered, for 8-10 minutes, until the fish flakes easily. During the last minute or two of cooking, add chopped cilantro and toasted cashews (if using). Serve hot, with a spoon to capture all of the broth. Enjoy!
Very spicy…and wonderful, as are the musical selections! First up, Luiz Bonfa Plays & Sings Bossa Nova. I love bossa nova, and his guy is one of best. He wrote “Black Orpheus”, and is a legend up there with Jobim and Joao Gilberto.
David Bowie, bossa nova? Yes! The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions with Seu Jorge will make a believer out you- might even pick up some Portuguese!