This recipe was born from an I-need-to-make-dinner-but-have-little-in-the-coffers night. When the stars are perfectly aligned, it also becomes a necessity-is-the-mother-of-creativity evening.
Some of my best dishes have been born in these moments. I wish that inspired me to relish them more. It doesn’t.
Tonight’s was particularly special because there were no leftovers. Not. A. One.
This rarely happens in our house, but especially rarely on fish nights.
Although Big Britches did tell me that he LOVES fish. And The Bread Guy decided that fish is “actually pretty good as long as you put a lot of malt vinegar on it.” I secretly gave myself a pat on the back.
I also learned tonight, mostly because of my own laziness, that if I leave the fish pieces larger, they will eat more. Eureka!
And the shocker of the evening … I need to make more polenta from now on. They were literally fighting over the last spoonful. And then requested it for breakfast the next day. Say what?!?
I’d imagine that you can use a different fish, but we are strictly a cod household. It’s low on the fish-flavor spectrum and is reasonably priced. And I find tilapia to be nasty (I know you appreciate my directness and honesty), so I refuse to buy it.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup yellow corn grits
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or oil of choice)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
- 3-4 handfuls baby spinach
- 2 pounds cod filets, defrosted and patted dry
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Refined coconut oil, for frying
- To prepare polenta, combine milk, water and salt in large saucepan and warm over medium heat.
- When near boiling, slowly whisk in grits.
- Continue to stir until thick.
- Cover and keep warm. Stir occasionally.
- In medium skillet, warm avocado oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and saute for a minute or two.
- Add wine and oregano and reduce by half.
- Add olives, capers and tomatoes and cook until just warm.
- Stir in spinach and remove skillet from heat but keep warm in skillet until ready to serve.
- Salt and pepper the fish.
- On a plate, combine the almond meal and the Parmesan cheese.
- Whisk the egg in a separate bowl.
- Heat an iron skillet (or whatever skillet you're using) over medium-high heat with a few hefty tablespoons of coconut oil in it.
- Dip each cod fillet in the egg and then in the almond/cheese mixture.
- Place in skillet and cook until crispy on both sides.
- Serve with polenta and sauce.
This looks like a lot of work, but it comes together quickly, so don’t be intimidated by all those steps. I would be. And I would quickly put that in the maybe-on-a-rainy-day file. This one, though, definitely belongs in the I’m-going-to-make-that-this-week list.
My kids will all eat cod as long as it’s crusted with something. I used to use panko but have found other things that work better. Almond crusted cod has become a go-to. I just try to mix up the sauces and I also find that I can change the seasonings in the almond meal mixture to achieve different flavors. Old Bay is also a fave in our house.
What do you make on your I-have-no-plan-and-the-pantry-is-barren nights?