In the spirit of eating healthier, we’ve been trying to add a little more seafood into our diets. You may remember that a couple of months back, I did a post using Wild Alaska seafood – Wild Alaska Crab Cups Topped with Caviar. While I was doing initial recipe development for that post, I also tried the frozen Wild Alaska cod. Much to my surprise, the frozen fish tasted like fresh cod fish – I was actually quite impressed. I told my husband, it was a product “I would eat again” – which says a lot since typically I do not eat frozen fish. I usually buy it directly from the seafood market supplied by my local fisherman. But I do realize that not everyone is able to live by the coast and enjoy fresh fish. These frozen cod filets make the perfect alternative.
My favorite fish varieties are grouper, haddock, salmon, trout, and cod. All of these fish are very versatile and are easily adaptable for many recipes like this Poached Cod with Tomatoes and Saffron because the mild fish flavor is still able to shine through the delicious broth. Typically we serve this dish with steamed rice to soak up all that fabulous broth – if you’re watching your carbs, cauliflower “rice” makes a great alternative, too.
What I like about this recipe is its versatility. If you do not care for a certain ingredient, simply omit it or replace it with something you enjoy. I start by roasting the tomatoes in the pan, I then add the garlic, onions, and olives. Sauteeing the olives really brings out their rich, Earthy flavors. It’s delicious – I hope you try it.
As for poaching the fish – low and slow simmering is the way to go. If you aggressively poach this fish over high heat you will end up with a rubbery piece of fish instead of a tender, flaky filet. Cooking over a very low simmer really makes all the difference in this recipe.
Once plated, I drizzle mine with just a touch of olive oil and a fresh piece of basil. Serve this tasty dish with a side salad and some steamed cauliflower “rice” to soak up the flavors of the broth. So tasty.
Poached Cod with Tomatoes and Saffron
My favorite fish varieties are grouper, haddock, salmon, trout, and cod. All of these fish are very versatile and are easily adaptable for many recipes like this Poached Cod with Tomatoes and Saffron because the mild fish flavor is still able to shine through the delicious broth. Typically we serve this dish with steamed rice to soak up all that fabulous broth - if you're watching your carbs, cauliflower "rice" makes a great alternative, too.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- fresh basil
- Pinch of saffron threads [See Notes]
- 1/4 cup whole Greek olives
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 4 (5-ounce) skinless cod fillets
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red peppers and cook about 3 minutes - stirring often.
- Add sliced tomatoes, onions, and Greek olives (optional). Cook until the tomatoes begin to lose their shape - about 2-3 minutes
- Add wine, bay leaves, saffron, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer (medium-low heat); season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Add chopped fresh basil (to taste).
- Season the cod filets with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cover and cook at a low simmer until cod is opaque throughout and beginning to flake, 5–7 minutes. Thicker fillets may take a little longer to cook. Add fresh basil
- Transfer cod to shallow bowls and spoon poaching liquid over.
- Garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
I buy a really small box of saffron threads on the international foods aisle near the Badia seasonings at my grocery store - which is set an aisle or two away from the rest of the more expensive spice brands like McCormick. The small box is about $4 and makes 1 -2 recipes.
If you do not have saffron, you can omit it. It will change the color and flavor of the dish. If you prefer, you can substitute turmeric (1/4 tsp). This will give a pretty yellow color and a little bit of added flavor.
Another alternative is ground Annatto. This really gives just a yellow color and doesn't add much in the way of flavor to the dish - in my opnion.
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