One of the reasons I’m so happy that Mike is as big a fan of seafood as I am is because it’s so darned quick and easy to prepare, and this week, quick and easy is about all I’ve had in me. I’ve been anxious to get back to the cutest fish market ever, and on Tuesday, the weather was finally (sorta) warm enough for me to make the walk up to the North End and pick up a few provisions.
I came home with two beautiful filets, one cod and one wild striped bass. I cooked the bass on Tuesday, portioning out a couple of pieces for our dinner and packaging the remainder to freeze. I stewed half of a fennel bulb, thinly sliced, along with some sliced onion, canned San Marzano tomatoes, a glug each of white wine and olive oil, and some Herbes de Provence, and when the mixture had cooked down, I sauteed the striper in a little olive oil until the skin was crisp and the flesh just cooked through. I spooned the fennel and tomato mixture into shallow bowls, placed a filet on top of each portion, and finished with a few fennel fronds, sprigs of flat leaf parsley, and lemon zest.
Wednesday night’s cod was even easier: I used this recipe as a jumping off point, but added my own spin by tossing the potatoes with a bit of smoked Spanish paprika before putting them in the oven to roast. After about 40 minutes, I added the cod (again, I portioned out two pieces and froze the rest), turning it on the baking sheet to coat it with paprika oil and sprinkling a little salt over it, and placed it back in the oven until the cod was just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes or so. I served the cod and potatoes on a bed of picked flat leaf parsley leaves, and sprinkled a little Sherry vinegar, snipped chives, and Basque herbed salt over each serving.
Both of these seafood suppers were incredibly simple and incredibly good, allowing the flavors of the super-fresh fish to shine through. We’re lucky to have access to such great seafood around here, and as the weather warms up and we crave lighter fare, you can bet we’ll be taking full advantage of it.