Baked Cod with Basil Chive Yogurt Sauce


Cod with Basil Chive Yogurt Sauce

Last weekend, I stopped at my neighborhood Smart & Final for just a few things, and decided to pick up some frozen Cod. I typically prefer my fish to be fresh, but when in a pinch (or I’m being lazy), I’ll grab some frozen. I wanted something light, but flavorful so perused a bunch of recipes for both fish and different types of sauces. I like this Cod dish as it has some crunch on the top while remaining healthy since it’s seared quickly then baked. As for the yogurt sauce, I find it be a nice complement to the fish in terms of flavor points and adding some additional protein. I suggest making the sauce first (directions further down) so it’s ready when the fish is done.

Ingredients 

  • 2 (6-ounce) cod fillets
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/8 tsp. dried thyme)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the fillets on a sheet tray or rack so the fish can release its natural juices.
  2. Place the bread crumbs into a shallow dish.
  3. In a separate shallow dish, add 1 beaten egg. Season both sides of the fillet with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, brush the belly side of the cod with the egg. Dip the egg side into the panko bread crumbs.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, add grapeseed oil. Before placing fish into pan, make sure the skillet is very hot. Sear only 1 side of the fish (the side with the bread crumbs). Once the 1 side is seared, place the skillet in the oven for about 4-6 minutes until cooked. *If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use a regular skillet, then transfer to a greased baking dish, and increase the time to about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Once the fish is cooked, flip it over and add the lemon juice, butter and sprig of thyme. Let melt and baste the fish with the juice.
  6. Remove from pan, place onto plate and top with sauce.

Chive Basil Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. garlic powder, depending on your garlic preference
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • The finely grated zest and juice of a 1/2 small lemon
  • 4 tsp. of dried parsley
  • A small fistful (about 3 tbsp.) of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
  • A thumb-thick bundle of fresh chives, chopped (or approx. 1 tbsp. dried)
  • 1/2 cup thick natural yogurt; use full-fat Greek yogurt if calories aren’t an issue
  • 1 tbsp. good-quality light mayonnaise, such as Hellman’s (optional)
  • Salt and milled black pepper

Directions

  1. Stir mustard, garlic, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl, mix/mush well.
  2. Add parsley, then very finely chop the basil and chives, and add them to the bowl.
  3. Stir in the yogurt and mayonnaise (if using), and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Seared & Baked Cod

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Baked Fish Fillets


Baked Cod

Here’s another healthy and delicious recipe for baked fish. You can use any firm white fish; cod, haddock or grouper. I used one large piece of cod, which was perfect for two servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 large piece of Cod
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Salt
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place fish in a 5 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray and season with salt.
  3. Combine lime juice, mayo, onion powder, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl, and spread over fish.
  4. Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs and parmesan; drizzle with butter.
  5. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  6. Serve with avocado-lime sauce, if desired.

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Baked Tilapia


More Tilapia! I decided to make this dish last night since I had two remaining vacuumed-sealed frozen filets in the freezer and really didn’t feel like venturing out to the grocery story, and because it’s easy (and quick) to make. It turned out super delicious and just melts in your mouth with a nice buttery flavor, hint of lemon, and little salty tang from the capers.

Baked Tilapia and Green Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 tilapia fillets (6 oz. each)
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika

Directions

  1. Place tilapia in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  2. Season fish with salt, garlic and onion powder.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the butter and lemon juice; pour over the fillets.
  4. Sprinkle with oregano, paprika and capers.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 425°F for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Pan-Seared Tilapia with Cilantro, Soy, Ginger and Avocado


I was perusing recipes yesterday that used avocados, as I had four ripe ones ready to eat and knew I didn’t want to make guacamole or add them to a salad, but rather in some kind of main dish. I came across one from Tyler Florence which sounded delicious using sushi-grade tuna, and decided to try it with the tilapia I had on hand. Needless to say, it was fabulous, in addition to being easy to make. Oh, and it’s healthy, too!

Tilapia with Cilantro Sauce and Avocado

Ingredients

  • 2 big handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tilapia filets, about 3 oz. each
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeño, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
  3. Add the tilapia to the pan with half of the cilantro mixture and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with the sliced avocado and remaining cilantro sauce, drizzled over the fish.
  5. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

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Beer-Battered Fish Tacos With Chipolte Sauce and Salsa


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I receive numerous emails containing recipes, and got one yesterday from Kitchen Daily for this recipe, which originally came from Eating Well. As always, I modified it and came up with the chipolte white sauce to accompany the tacos. I like this because it’s not deep-fried and is really yummy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some deep-fried food, but prefer to eat healthier… most of the time 😉

If you want to skip the sauce and make this even lighter, you can top the tacos off with a little plain greek yogurt with the salsa.

Ingredients

Fish Tacos

  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more for additional heat
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup beer
  • 8 oz. tilapia filet, cut crosswise into 1-inch wide strips
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • Fresh salsa

Chipolte Sauce

  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 tbsp. low-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chipolte seasoning

Directions

Chipolte Sauce

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and put in fridge while preparing the fish.

Fish Tacos

  1. Combine flour, cumin, garlic, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk in beer to create a batter.
  2. Coat tilapia pieces in the batter.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the fish to the pan, letting excess batter drip back into the bowl.
  5. Cook until crispy and golden, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  6. Serve fish with tortillas, cabbage, chipolte sauce and salsa.
With guacamole on a flour tortilla
With guacamole on a flour tortilla

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A Modified Version of Shrimp and Grits


As you may, or may not know, I looooooooove shrimp and grits! While my earlier recipe on here is one of my all-time favorites, this one is simply delicious. I was watching The Chew on Friday, and Carla Hall made a dish called “Swamp Thing”, which was her healthier version of shrimp and grits. Once I saw it was loaded with vegetables, I was sold, and knew I had to try it, which I did later that day with a few small modifications. This recipe does take a little effort, as the grits need to be made about an hour beforehand, and there’s a decent amount of veggie chopping, but trust me when I say, it’s worth it! Thanks Carla!!!

Ingredients

Grits:

  • 1 cup Quick Grits
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Half & Half (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Olive oil (for frying grits)

Shrimp Stew

  • 1/2 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (medium diced)
  • 1 large carrot (medium diced)
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • Half of a 14.5-ounce can whole plum tomatoes (crushed)
  • 2 cups collard greens (ribboned*)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (peeled and diced, or canned)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 parsnip (peeled and diced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock/broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus more for pan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Grits

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, Half & Half, and corn to a boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in grits, avoiding lumps and cook according to package directions.
  3. Once cooked, whisk in butter and cheese (if using).
  4. Pour into greased baking dish, allow to cool, then place in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. At this point, you can start on the stew if you want & come back to step 6.
  6. Remove grits from fridge and cut into 3 inch squares (or desired size).
  7. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat with olive oil.  Fry grits in hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove from pan.

Shrimp Stew

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, over high heat, add olive oil. Toss in the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. Toss in all the other vegetables except for the collard greens and crushed tomatoes, and add olive oil if it seems dry. Coat all the vegetables in oil and continue to cook over high heat, just slightly browning everything.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir. Deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the collard greens, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne, and stir.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Right before serving, toss in the shrimp and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through.
  7. Plate in a soup bowl on top of fried grits.  Season to taste.  Serve immediately.

* To ribbon the collard greens, take some leaves, place them on top of each other, roll them up long-way, and cut small pieces off of the ends. This will form long, thin pieces known as ribbons.

Note: If you don’t do shrimp/shellfish, you can definitely leave it out. Also, feel free to substitute vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. 

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Marinated Raw Tuna


Back in June, I posted a recipe for Edamame/Wasabi puree by Tyler Florence that went along with marinated tuna, however, I didn’t try his tuna at the time. About a week ago when I was in one of my sushi-craving modes, I decided to see what all the rave reviews were about and made the tuna. WOWZA! When I tell you that it melted in my mouth, it is no exaggeration. This is truly the best marinated tuna I have EVER tasted! And I’ve tasted a lot! The awesome thing about this recipe is that it’s super easy and ready in 20 minutes. And when you pair it with the Edamame puree, the combination of flavors will tantalize your taste buds. Seriously.

Marinated tuna pictured with spicy tuna (in the middle)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sake
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. red chili paste, such as Sambal
  • 1/2 pound sushi-quality tuna, such as ahi, yellowfin, maguro or bluefin, cut in 1/4-inch strips (or smaller, if you prefer)

Directions

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, sake, brown sugar and chili paste until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Arrange the sliced tuna in a single layer in a shallow dish.
  3. Pour the marinade over the tuna, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Don’t marinate the tuna any longer because it will start to “cook” and the texture will be mushy.
  4. To put together, dollop a spoonful of the edamame puree (if using) on a wonton crisp or cracker, then lay a slice of tuna on the top.

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Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice


A little over a year ago, I had my first experience with spicy tuna over crispy rice at a restaurant in Manhattan Beach called Sashi, where I was celebrating my birthday. And while tuna and/or spicy tuna has always been my favorite type of sushi/sashimi, this marked the official beginning of my love affair with the scrumptious combination. Just recently, I decided to try a restaurant very close to my house, Hoka Hoka, and much to my surprise (and sheer joy), I discovered they serve the same dish. Score!! So while on my regular shopping spree at Trader Joe’s this past weekend, I picked up their sashimi-grade Ahi (with thoughts of spicy tuna dancing in my head). I needed a few other ingredients, which I got at a Japanese market, and saw they had some beautiful red Maguro, so quickly tossed a package in my basket.  This recipe generally calls for Ahi, but feel free to mix in Maguro or even, Yellowtail, if you so desire. As for the rice, there are a couple of ways to cook it, which I tried, and am posting the way I thought was best, after a weekend of my kitchen looking like a battle zone with oil, rice, and soy. Oh, and a grease fire. Oops. The lesson learned, which may be common sense to some/most, is to never, ever, add soy to hot oil. Nonetheless, I had a sushi-rific holiday!

Oh, and it should be noted that the spicy tuna is also great on top of crispy crackers (see below)!

Pictured here without sesame seeds & with Kabayaki sauce

Ingredients

Tuna

  • 1/2 lb. sushi grade tuna, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (Kewpie brand preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (use more or less according to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 scallion, chopped ultra fine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tobiko (roe)

Rice

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame
  • Sliced jalapeño, optional
  • Dash soy sauce, optional
  • Cooking oil

Directions

For the tuna:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix all tuna ingredients together.
  2. Cover and reserve in refrigerator.  You can make this up to four hours in advance, and two is ideal so that the flavors mesh well.

For the rice:

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to package. Set aside to cool.
  2. When the rice has cooled enough to handle, form the rice in a rectangle. The key to making the crispy rice is to make it very tight and compact.  If your rice is too loose, it will fall apart during frying. I use this Takamura Large Sushi Maker and press the rice as tightly as possibly into the mold.
  3. Cut the rice in 2″ x 1.5″ rectangles with a very sharp knife.
  4. Combine the black and white sesame seeds on a plate or bowl and lightly press the rice in the seeds.
  5. Heat cooking oil (and dash soy sauce, if using) to approx. 350 degrees F. Make sure to use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Fry the rice in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown, and carefully remove and place on a paper towel to drain.
  7. Top with spicy tuna, and garnish with a small slice of jalapeño, if desired.

Another idea for an appetizer/snack is to serve on a thin, crispy sesame cracker with a little seaweed salad.

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A New Twist on Tuna Fish


I’ve been eating (and enjoying) tuna fish salad for as long as I can remember. However, this recipe takes it to a whole new level for me. I can wholeheartedly say this is by far, the best tuna salad I’ve ever tasted. The mingling of ingredients/flavors, like curry and dill, will awaken your taste buds and put a new twist on an old favorite. Give this a try… I know you will be happy you did!

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 oz) can white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 3 tbsp light mayonnaise or salad dressing (you can use regular or fat-free)
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 onion slice, finely chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the tuna, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, relish, onion and celery.
  2. Season with the curry powder, parsley, dill and garlic powder.
  3. Mix well and serve with crackers or on a sandwich.

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Tamari and Honey-Glazed Scallops


I tried this recipe over the summer after receiving an email from Whole Foods that they were having a “scallops” sale, and although I haven’t tasted a lot of scallop dishes, I think this one is pretty darn good. The combination of sweet honey, salty tamari, tangy rice vinegar and hot red pepper flakes make a delicious glaze for the scallops. I recommend using a robust honey like eucalyptus or avocado to balance the strongly flavored tamari. Serve with brown rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb large sea scallops (tough muscles removed from the side of each)
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, honey, mustard, vinegar and red pepper flakes; set aside.
  2. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, then heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook scallops in a single layer, flipping once, until golden brown & just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. (Work in batches, if necessary, adding the remaining 1 tbsp oil when needed.)
  4. Transfer scallops to a large plate as done.
  5. Reduce heat to low and allow skillet to cool off a bit, then carefully add tamari-honey mixture to skillet & simmer briefly until reduced to a glaze.
  6. Return scallops to skillet and toss well to coat.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Source: Whole Foods

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