This is not the first time I post a recipe for cod, and it will certainly not be the last. You know that cod is one of my favorite kinds of fish, and I like it in any way and manner: baked, seared, in soups (click here), in fritters (croquetas or buñuelos, click here ), in green sauce, pil-pil style, with roasted vegetables or esgarraet, you name it. The recipe I am sharing today is delicious, but what can I say! The cod is first salted for ten minutes and then rinsed and seasoned with Spanish flavors, pepper and pimentón de la Vera, garlic, thyme. It’s then baked in a cocotte, and laid over a bed of black-eyed peas simmered in a butter, olive oil, and lemon sauce (you could use almost any kind of legume or dry bean of your liking). Serve the braised cod with white beans with fresh crusty bread and you have a fantastic meal.
You will see more recipes for cod on this blog, but this is a year of many lasts for my son Ethan, who is in his Senior (last) year of high school. I thought I would post some photos of his last official soccer season, a sport that defines him and that has been a part of his life since he was just a toddler. The photos are from Senior Night, an evening when the school community honors the graduating soccer players (and their parents, as you can see! A very thoughtful touch).
I don’t want to sound melancholic or even slightly sad, but everything this year seems to be a last for me with regard to him, even if I don’t like to think that way. I suspect what happens is that I’ve seen it with Matthew, who has been in college for almost three years. In my mind they’ll always be my children, and like a chicken and its chicks, I never looked ahead far enough to see that they would one day grow up and leave the coop. It’s the cycle of life, I know, but it’s hard for me not to think of them as the babies they once were, the toddlers and happy children they became, who one day would even get their drivers licenses and wouldn’t need me to drive them to soccer practices or to school anymore, and who can now cook their meals and take perfect care of themselves in the world. I’m very proud of the young men they have become, and it gives me great pride. Ethan is deep in the middle of preparing his college applications, so even if this is a year, and a time, of lasts, it’s also one of firsts. And I’m happy and excited to see where life takes him, what choices he makes, and how he continues to find happiness and purpose in the world.
And on the note of lasts and firsts, I made my first VIDEO RECIPE! The recipe is for classic Spanish madeleines, madalenas in Spanish, and you can watch it on youtube.com (click here to get to it). Please tell me what you think! It is a first, as I said, so I still have much to learn, but I wanted to give it a try, and see if it’s something you’d like to see more of. I would appreciate your feedback, what you like and what you don’t, so I can adjust accordingly. I hope you like it!
I’ll leave you now with the recipe for braised cod with white beans, and if you choose to prepare it, or cod in any manner, for the first time, I promise it won’t be the last.
(Note: scroll all the way down for more soccer photos)
BRAISED COD WITH WHITE BEANS
Bacalao con Alubias Blancas
4 center cut cod filets
1/3 cup coarse sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Flour, for dusting
1/2 cup white wine
4 thyme sprigs
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the beans:
2 lbs white beans (like Great Northern, navy beans or black-eye peas)
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 tsp sea salt
If using dry beans, cook them according to cooking instructions. A general method is: place them in a medium pot, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and check for tenderness. Season with salt and continue to cook 10 more minutes, or longer if needed for tenderness (alternatively, after 30 minutes of simmering, remove from the heat source and let the peas sit in the hot water for 2 hours, or as needed for tenderness). Rinse and reserve.
Make the cod:
Spread the salt on a platter and lay the cod filets on top. Turn over and coat with the salt on all sides. Let stand for 10 minutes, rinse, pat dry, and reserve.
Season the cod filets with pepper and Pimentón. Place the flour on a plate and coat the seasoned cod fillets. Place a cast iron casserole or deep skillet on the stove, and heat the olive oil. Add the fish to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn the filets over with a spatula and cook on the other side, about 1 extra minute. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and 2 sprigs of thyme and cook, 1 minute. Add the wine, cover, and cook, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Make the beans:
In a medium skillet, add the butter and the olive oil and cook until melted. Add the beans (cooked dry beans or canned), toss, and add the lemon juice. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, toss, and cook, about 1 minute.
To serve, spoon a heap of beans in the center of a plate, place a cod filet on top, spoon some of the fish juices from the pan and garnish with a small sprig of thyme. Serve with crusty bread.
The Saints Soccer Class of 2018