Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dill Cod

Back in the days of my early cooking, one of my go-to ideas was to find a sauce and cook a protein with it, and hope everything went well.  I found some gems from doing this, as well as plenty of mistakes.  I would often try to make educated pairings, such as fish with sauces that had lemon in them, and chicken, well, with anything else.  The most common fish I would use was tilapia, because it was cheap and simple.

I found a dill dressing somewhere, and paired the tilapia with it, adding some vegetables and pasta to make it more interesting.  The dill paired wonderfully with the fish, and it was a recipe I cooked occasionally for friends.

Fast forward to now, I no longer cook with tilapia.  I have since grown bored with it's flavorless taste, and moved on.  However, I wanted to do the recipe again, so I updated a few different things to bring it up to speed with my current skills.  The sauce originally contained vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, dry mustard, and dill weed.  The dill was the dry stuff, which is pretty powerful in itself, but I wanted to use fresh dill to see the true difference.  I kept the tomato, mushroom, and pasta pairing, but instead of using canned mushrooms, I sautéed the mushrooms beforehand.  And the most important change?  I switched the tilapia for cod, a fish I had worked with once before and, by golly, it had flavor.

Dill Cod

Ingredients: (2 servings)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 3-oz cod fillets
10 grape tomatoes, halved
2 ounces rotini pasta
8 ounces mushrooms

Saute mushrooms until almost soft, for ten minutes.  Do not crowd mushrooms.
Cook the pasta as directed.
Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, dill, salt, garlic powder, mustard, and pepper.
Put sauce into skillet, heat on medium high until simmering.
Cook cod in the sauce with the tomatoes, pasta, and mushrooms for 2 minutes on each side.

The most surprising part of this dish for me was how sweet  the pasta tasted.  The combination of the taste of the cod, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pasta made for a pleasantly complex meal.

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