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Can I get a brrrrr? This winter is pretty atrocious, and there is no end in sight. Cooking at home helps; at least if you are near a hot stove you are warm for a bit! Easy recipes that combine fun bursts of flavor are getting us through these cold nights, and I whipped up the below with Chatham cod from Red’s Best that I picked up at the Dorchester Winter Farmers Market. I have been in a huge seafood mood lately, so if you have a favorite seafood recipe, especially one that is hearty, feel free to share it in the comments!

This recipe started with some thinly sliced potatoes and chorizo in a nonstick frying pan.

sliced potatoes

I added a tiny bit of olive oil, and I cooked the chorizo and potatoes until sizzling. I really wanted the potatoes to have a crunchy crust, and I just about got it. Next time I would definitely cook the potatoes a few more minutes.


chorizo and potatoes

Once the chorizo and potatoes were almost done, I added in four crushed garlic cloves and a can of crushed tomatoes, then mad room for the cod in the pan.

Chatham Cod with Chorizo

I put the whole thing into a 37 degree oven until the cod was flaky and the tomatoes were bubbly. It did not look very pretty, as you can see, but it was a dynamite dinner!  It cheered me up on a particularly blue Sunday. This meal was tasty and filling; I didn’t even want a snack later that evening!

I have been finding myself snacking big time at night, then regretting it, so I am trying to make more satisfying dinners and to stay away from the refrigerator at night unless I am actually hungry. I just want this winter to end. In the meantime, I’ll be hunkering down with food and wine and a fireplace.

How are you coping with this endless winter, if you live in a cold area? Any fun recipes you have been working on?

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Tags: Chatham, chorizo, cod, dinner, Food, healthy comfort food, healthy cooking, recipe

Fear of Frying

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Some foods are just fantastic when fried. Potatoes, mozzarella cheese, and even pickles can benefit from a roll in some batter and a dip in boiling oil.

Fish cakes, like the ones I made last night, are another food that, even when lightly pan fried, taste just a little bit better. Unfortunately, my fear of frying got the better of me, and I baked them.

It turns out that they didn’t need to be fried, even only slightly browned, they were fresh and healthy without all of that extra oil.

I started with a cup of teeny tiny potatoes, tossed into boiling water until they were nice and soft.

teeny tiny potatoes

small potatoes

I also got some water boiling to steam the last of the Alaskan cod from the Foodbuzz Alaska Seafood recipe contest. They sent me a serious amount of cod, and it lasted very well in the freezer over the months. I cooked all of the cod from frozen, as Alaska Seafood mentioned in the materials that they sent me, and I was always surprised how good frozen fish could taste. In this case, I used my steamer basket to cook the cod until it was flaky.

Alaskan cod

I whipped up the seasonings on the side, a cup of panko bread crumbs, some salt-free dill and lemon seasoning, and a few spoonfuls of Dijon mustard.

dijon mustard and dill seasoning

bread crumbs

When the fish and potatoes were tender, I added them to the bread crumb mixture, then mashed my heart out with a potato masher.

cod and potatoes

Once the mix was a bit cooler, I added two whole eggs and thoroughly stirred everything up. The cod cakes went into a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes and ended up nicely browned. They reminded me a lot of Morton’s crab cakes which are full of crab meat and not fried. It turns out some things are good fried, but they are even better baked Smile

dinner is served

Served with a simple side of roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms left over from my chicken dish the other night, this was a great meal for a night when I wanted something healthy and warm. Since we are going on vacation to Ireland soon, I am doing my best to get in lots of workouts, vegetables, and water. Once I get to Ireland. . . well, all bets are off. It’s called Supermac’s, it’s Ireland’s higher-quality answer to McDonald’s, and it is fabulous.

Random story and question: The other day, when I was running, I saw a Manwich can hanging out of someone’s busted open trash bag. It brought me back to childhood and the Manwich commercials. My mother would never buy Manwich despite my desperate requests for it. We also never ate Hamburger Helper or sugary cereals like Cookie Crisp.

What food/s did you really want to eat when you were younger but were prohibited by parents? Have you tried them as an adult, and if so, did they live up to expectations?

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Tags: baked not fried, brussels sprouts, cod, cod cakes, cooking, easy recipes, fish, Food, healthy, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, mushrooms, protein, recipe, roasted vegetables

Happy Monday! I am not usually a lover of Mondays, but I love today for two reasons, because I only have one more Monday at my current full time job before I start on a whole new, unknown adventure in food, wine, and travel, and also because today is the launch party for Red White Boston. I have loved working with Red White Boston, and I am excited for tonight to meet everyone who is coming to the party and to spread the word about this really excellent iPhone app.

Yesterday was highly productive. After a disappointing Boston Lobster Party and delicious Myers + Chang lunch and dinner on Saturday, we had the best night’s sleep ever. I woke up Sunday feeling more rested than I have in MONTHS. I got to the MSPCA to walk some dogs and to celebrate Adopt a Pit Bull Month (they are seriously amazing dogs with a bad media rap, trust me!!), met a kitten with a hot pink cast :( and finally got myself home for a day of fall cleaning. We swapped out our summer clothes for warmer ones, keeping the summer ones close by in case we decide on an impromptu Caribbean vacation.

After a walk around Castle Island in the glorious fall sunshine, I got to work on dinner, a recipe that I made in honor of Oldways and the upcoming World Pasta Day, October 25. I am hell bent on making excellent, completely whole wheat pasta and baked goods, so I went ahead and used 100% whole wheat flour.

First, I got out the pasta machine and wiped it down with a clean cloth.

Pasta Maker

I used a simple whole wheat pasta recipe that combined 2 cups whole wheat flour from King Arthur Flour, 2 large eggs, a sprinkle of salt, and enough water to make it into a ball of dough.

pasta ingredients

While the pasta dough was chilling in the freezer, I started on the sauce which was a simple mix of 1 can roasted tomatoes, a few dashes chili oil, some chopped garlic, and 2 cod filets.

cod with tomatoes

I cooked these ingredients on low for about an hour, until the cod flaked and completely blended in with the tomatoes and spices. Rather than having cod with a side of pasta, I turned it into a spicy seafood tomato sauce.

My best intentions were to make fettucine using the pasta maker, but I just could not get it to cut the pasta. It sort of scored it but never cut it into the neat little ribbons I hoped for. Maybe it was too thick? Maybe I am a dough dunce?

At any rate, the word rustic, one of my favorites for when my delicious food turns kinda un-pretty, came into play, and I hand cut the pasta dough, boiled it, and then tossed it into the sauce.

whole wheat pasta with cod

I most definitely noticed a difference using a rolling pin to roll out the dough over a bottle of wine. The thinner dough, even hand cut, made for a lighter, fluffier pasta that actually tasted like pasta and not a dumpling. The sauce coated it perfectly and created a nutritious and filling meal. We both went back for seconds!

I was thinking of all of you while walking dogs yesterday. I know a lot about the foodie tendencies of my blog readers and bloggers I read, but I would love to know your other passions. Besides cooking/eating/drinking, what are your favorite things to do?

Please check out the Bauer Wines Howl-o-ween giveaway if you are in the Boston area! Great wine store, beautiful location, and fun Halloween event, you can’t go wrong!

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Tags: cod, Food, Oldways, pasta, recipe

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