Home Cooking: Who needs fish oil when you can enjoy the real thing?
The inspiration for this column might have been the obligation of “fish Fridays” during Lent. But to be honest, I’ve enjoyed these recipes on any day of the week. They’re easy, versatile and full of flavor. If you’ve never considered yourself a fish person, try these. I promise they’re winners.
Fish soup with rice and spinach and parsley lemon gremolata
When I described this soup to Mom, she said she’d like it without rice and kale instead of spinach. To which I say, you go girl! Recipes should inspire you to make meals that you enjoy.
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 1 pound of frozen cod fillets (or other firm mild fish of your choice)
- 4 green onions diced including the green part
- 3/4 cup of jasmine rice uncooked
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
Parsley lemon gremolata
- 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon half
- 1 clove garlic, minced
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- 2-3 slices of stale hearty bread or baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Garlic powder
In a medium size Dutch oven or large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and gently saute the chopped garlic and green onion for 2 minutes until just wilted.
Next, add the rice and stir to coat. Add the stock, bring to a boil and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the frozen cod fillets and the juice of half of a lemon. Cover again and allow everything to cook for an additional 10 minutes. Then gently remove the cod fillets and cut them into large chunks and return to the pot until the rice and fish are cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the parsley gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the chopped parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Pulse with an immersion blender or a food processor until just finally minced.
Make the garlic croutons: Place bread cubes on a sheet pan, sprinkle with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic powder. Roast 5-10 minutes in a 400-degree oven.
When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls, serve with garlic croutons or a slice of stale bread and a dollop of the parsley gremolata.
Sheet pan fish and roasted vegetables with Peruvian aji amarillo seasoning
This sheet pan dinner can be ready in 25 minutes. It’s so simple, but don’t let that turn up your nose. The Peruvian aji amarillo paste is so full of huge flavors of yellow pepper and citrus. It’s a great seasoning for fish or chicken.
- 1-2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 mild/firm fish filet per person, cut into large chunks
- An assortment of your favorite vegetables for roasting cut into large chunks
Heat oven to 400. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil and aji amarillo seasoning paste. (Start with a little and build. It’s spicy, so you’ll want to adjust it to your heat tolerance.)
Arrange the fish (I use wild-caught Pacific cod. You also can use chicken breasts or thighs.) and vegetables (I use crimini mushrooms, bell peppers, summer squash and red onions) on a baking sheet and then drizzle with the seasoned extra-virgin olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve over rice or mixed salad greens.
Salmon chowder with fresh vegetables
You might be asking why I’m sharing yet another salmon chowder recipe. I’ll admit, before a year ago, I never made salmon chowder. Then I discovered not only how easy it is, but how easily it can be modified to suit whatever you have in the fridge. Now, I keep a bag of wild-caught salmon filets in the freezer that I pull out whenever I want to make soup of a quick roasted salmon.
- 1 pound of frozen salmon fillets (or another firm, mild fish)
- 1 quart of chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3-4 carrots, sliced into quarter-inch coins
- 1 bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 6 fingerling potatoes, cut into quarters (or one large potato cut into 1-inch cubes
Add all of your vegetables into a medium-sized Dutch oven or large saucepan and sauté in 2 tablespoons of butter for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Then add the chicken stock, nutmeg and fish fillets. Cook until just tender, then remove the fish fillets and cut into large chunks.
Put 1-2 ladles of soup stock into a glass measuring cup and slowly pour in the half-and-half while stirring the stock so that you temper the half-and-half. Then pour the tempered half-and-half and stock back into the saucepan. Bring back to a simmer, taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve and enjoy!
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Home Cooking” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson taught herself to cook after college when she discovered dinner parties were a cure for loneliness. Her latest cookbook is “A Year in the Mountains Cookbook.” She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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