From Scratch: Pacific cod and shrimp in a tomato feta sauce (recipe)
Quick and easy seafood, feta cheese, olives, in a buttery tomato sauce, and it’s good for you?
The first time I had this dish was dinner al fresco on a humid evening in Florida. I believe the original recipe came from Pierre Franey’s “New York Times: 60 Minute Gourmet” cookbook, published in 1981.
I’ve made it so many times over the years that I know it from heart and readily embellish it. For instance, Pierre’s version used only shrimp, and, in today’s recipe, I use pacific cod and shrimp, so you could easily substitute swordfish or another firm white fish of your choice.
The overly descriptive name for this dish is meant to whet your appetite because it really is as delicious as it looks in the picture.
The great news is that it’s the perfect dinner to throw together and into the oven on a night when you don’t feel like cooking; you probably have all of the ingredients in your freezer and pantry.
It’s your new favorite meal when you want to stick to your promise to eat healthier meals but the thought of another kale salad leaves you cold.
Weeknight Pacific Cod and Shrimp in a Tomato Feta Sauce
It’s so easy, you don’t even need a list of ingredients, just a quick description:
1. Preheat the oven to 450F
2. Into a saucepan, pour one 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (salsa style is my favorite), one or two cloves of finely-minced garlic and a couple dollops (tablespoons) of butter. If you’re making this for four or more people, you might want to have two cans of diced tomatoes, that way everyone will get to enjoy the sauce. Sauté until the garlic has softened, and the butter is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste, a splash of red wine or pernod if you have a bottle on hand and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you’d like to add spice. Pour this tomato sauce into a casserole dish.
3. Place frozen cod filets and shrimp onto this puddle of tomato goodness.
4. In a separate small bowl, mix up a spoonful of mayo, panko bread crumbs and lemon pepper (if you have it; if not, good old salt and pepper will work). Gently spoon this mixture onto the top of the cod filets and the shrimp. (By the way, this dish is perfect for playing around with different types of seafood to match your appetite and what’s fresh at the market.)
5. Crumble feta cheese over the entire dish. Scatter chopped black or green olives for an extra punch of flavor.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the time it takes to cook the filets through. While the dish is in the oven, you could boil pasta, rice or quinoa to serve with this dish. But I like it just as is, with maybe a nice hunk of French bread on the side.
COOKING FOR TWO
Opinions, please. Do you hate leftovers as much as I do? If there is interest, I would be happy to transform this food column into Cooking for Two. Send me an email and let me know your thoughts. Thank you.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of 10 books, including the cookbook “Comfort Me: Easy Meals to Bring Your Family Back to the Table.” Join Suzanne at: http://www.facebook.com/suzanneelizabeths or http://www.suzanneelizabeths.com.
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