Friday, March 21, 2014

Blackened Cajun Cod with Beet Greens

I'm doing really well avoiding beef so far. It gets a few furtive glances as I head for the poultry and fish, but so far I've resisted temptation. That means more chicken, pork and fish! Chicken and pork is easy, but more fish is a challenge.  Fresh Sole and Snapper are local, fresh, renewable and easy to cook. Now I keep a bag of raw prawns in the freezer so prawns and pasta are always easy and fast. That is still a fairly limited menu so I need to diversify!

Cod is thick and takes more skill to cook so I've avoided it till now. Save On Foods had this wonderful cod on special.  This piece was wrapped in plastic so I pressed lightly and it sprang back.  It is fresh. So I picked it up.

I've done cod as fish and chips but never pan fried. I kind of had fish and chips in mind but Fern said, "Too greasy." So I had to pan fry it, somehow. I have heard of blackened cod and was fairly sure it was made with Cajun spices so that is what I decided to do. I pulled all the bones out and cut the thin sides of the fillets off so I could cook them separately.

Cajun Spice Rub

2 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp paprika 
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp freshly ground white pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Experience has taught me that herbs and spices alone on fish tend to turn black and bitter. So I first salted both sides and ends of the fillets, then coated them with spice rub and finally finished them with flour.  I put them in a hot frying pan with plenty of oil and kept an eye on them as the heat rose up through the fish, cooking as it went. When it reached the middle I turned the fillets over. 

The beet greens I cut the stem out of all the leaves and steamed them for a few minutes.  Then I cooled and drained them and reheated them in olive oil with a little salt and lime juice. The rice was plain basmati done in the microwave.  


1 tbsp oil olive/canola
1-2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp water
tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Once again the pre cut salad proves it's worth.  All I had to do was dice a tomato and toss the salad in the dressing.

I plated the fish with a few drops of lime juice over top. Everything was perfect. I was afraid I over cooked the fish but it was still moist inside. The beet greens were a real treat, so different from broccoli or frozen peas but really good. Halibut comes in season next!

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