Black olives and sun-dried tomatoes, a balance of salty and sweet, are the stars of this recipe for cod or any other fish. Try it on chicken too!
Whenever I see Jacques Pépin on TV, I get a warm feeling inside. He is such a good teacher, a gifted chef, and a damn good artist too – find some of his handwritten menus to see what I mean.
I’ve watched him for so many years that I can sometimes hear his voice when I’m cooking. What I especially love about him is that he cooks for the home cook. His meals are simple and fast, but oh so good, and healthy too.
Here’s a recipe from one of his PBS series and cookbooks, More Fast Food My Way. This is a perfect meal when you have no time. Get the topping going in your food processor. Or chop the dickens out of it if you don’t want to pull out the processor. Spread it on the fish. Pop it in the oven or broiler, et voilà!
Jacques says, “If your fillets are about 1 inch thick, they will need 5 to 6 minutes under the broiler. Adjust the timing if your fillets are thinner or thicker.” Sorry Jacques, I know the fish will continue to cook after it’s removed from the oven, but I tend to cook it longer than you’d like. Except with salmon, I don’t mind that a bit underdone, so I stick to the cooking rules then.
I always end up with more topping than I need, but I pile it all on anyways. This dish is full of bold flavor, so it’s not for those with bland tastes. Happy cooking!
Cod with Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Crust
You’ll need a food processor (or blender or a good sharp knife) and a foil-lined baking pan.
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (if oil-packed, drain them first)
- 1/4 cup pitted black olives, I like Kalamata
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 cod fillets, about 6 oz each, or you could use any meaty fish, like halibut or mahi mahi
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Put tomatoes, olives, green onions, Parmesan, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a food processor. Process until you have a rough purée that holds together.
Rub the fillets with the 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cover the fillets with the tomato-olive mixture and slide them under the broiler, so the fish is about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil for about 5 minutes, until the fillets are just tender. Jacques cooks them until they are still slightly undercooked inside since they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. You do whatever you like.
Original recipe: Cod in Olive-Tomato Crust, Jacques Pépin, More Fast Food My Way
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