BAKED COD IN A TOMATO BASIL FENNEL SAUCE

This may well be my most FAVORITE white fish recipe ever...so so good.  So delicious, I would love to make it at least once a week.  However, after reading this information, we discovered Cod is on the endangered species list.
I received an education this week about our Canadian Coastal Cod.  Naturally it is wild, I did know that.  However, I thought there were two kinds of Cod - Gray Cod and Ling Cod.  Ling Cod is not my favorite fish, but Gray Cod is divine.  This fish here is called Pacific Cod - a whole other species....who knew?  And I might add - delicious, tender, moist - a great white fish for many recipes.
This is a fish we can get almost year round, as well as the other ingredients in this recipe.  Now that I know it is on the endangered species list, sadly, I must reconsider.
I have wanted to have at least one fresh fish dinner each week.  We do eat canned Salmon and Tuna, but fresh wild seafood is always better.  DH is not a seafood lover.  He likes Halibut, Sole, Salmon, Cod and Snapper fillets.  I love all of these, except my body does not agree with Halibut or Sole - how sad is that???  Plus, as previously mentioned in other posts, my DH will not eat shell fish of any kind.  I LOVE shellfish.
However, on that note, I recently discovered I can not eat Mussels (trying not to cry here). If I do eat mussels my hands and face swell up to very scary proportions...remember the movie Alien?  Well, I do look like some kind of Alien freak, to say the least.  Okayyyy... enough said about that!
I also learned most Mussels in Canada are now farmed.  Interesting...as a child I had no problem with Mussels...but back then farmed seafood was unheard of.  (Why do we always have to interfere with nature? Over fishing, fish and seafood farming, depleting our natural resources...it is maddening)  Interfering with nature seems to have some extreme results which I have personally experienced, but what about globally, environmentally?  A question worth considering.
Can we not all go back to what Nature naturally intends?
Okay...back to Pacific Cod.  It is a very neutral tasting white fish which lends itself to all kinds of flavor destinations. We both agree this is a most tasty lovely fish....we want to include this beautiful fish in our diets each week, but now will give consideration to a moderate amount in our diets.
Now onto the recipe:
The sauce can be prepared ahead of time which makes this dinner quick and easy!
2 Wild Pacific Cod fillets - about 1 - 1 1/2 lbs. (Halibut would be tasty too)
3 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fennel Bulb, cored, cut in half then slice again
1 large Shallot, sliced
3 minced garlic cloves
16 Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and fresh cracked Pepper
1/2 glass of dry White Wine - I always cook with a Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tblsp. Tomato Paste
and handful of finely chopped Fresh Basil
TOMATO BASIL FENNEL SAUCE:
Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  To the pan add the shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Then add in the garlic, Old Bay seasoning, sliced Cherry tomatoes, sauteing for another 5 minutes.  Then add in the sliced fennel.
Continue to saute for another 10 minutes, then pour in the white wine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer for 5 more minutes, then add in the tomato paste, stirring to incorporate.
Remove from the heat and add in the minced fresh Basil.  Preheat the oven to 425 degress.  Meanwhile, rinse the Cod Fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.  Remove any bones with needle-nose pliers.  Lay the Cod Fillets in a casserole dish and season with salt and pepper.
Spread the tomato fennel sauce around the fish.
Then cover with the remaining tomato basil fennel sauce.
Cover the casserole dish tightly in aluminum foil, and bake about 20 minutes, or until the fish is tender.
Serve alongside rice or steamed baby potatoes and steamed fresh vegetables.
We were in heaven...enjoy!  🙂

Ina Gawne
author
Print

8 comments on “BAKED COD IN A TOMATO BASIL FENNEL SAUCE”

  1. That looks delicious! We are trying to eat more fish/shellfish and luckily, we both love it - though I admit I have to cut mussels up small, and that I am not terribly thrilled with oysters :-)(I'll eat both though!)
    I'm sorry you can't eat mussels anymore - odd isn't it, that this has suddenly happened to you?
    It is so difficult to know how to do best for the food resources isn't it? I think we can only do our very best, but I read that in ancient London (for instance) that oysters from the river were 'peasant food' , and I feel sad that those days are long gone because the environment is just too polluted for that to happen now...
    So sad, and I don't know how to fix it...

    1. Janet - I did not know about the oysters in ancient London. How sad, I don't know how to fix it either. I guess it begins with awareness, education, and communication - getting information out there? Now that I know about our Pacific Cod species, I will take care - a once in a while special dinner. As for the mussels, I am pretty sure my reaction has to do with them being farmed. We do not eat any fish/shellfish that is farmed - only wild seafood graces our plate! 🙂

  2. Farmed seafood is pretty bizarre, isn't it? I suspect you're right ... that it's all that other stuff that seems to be in farm-raised seafood that's giving you issues. I adore fish and seafood, but have put a lot back at the store when I've read the labels. I had no idea that mussels could be farmed. 🙁 I also had no idea that cod are endangered. 🙁 🙁 All that said, this dish looks wonderful, Ina!
    Shirley

    1. Thanks Shirley! It has been and education - I did not know either. Luckily where we live more and more people are refusing to eat farmed seafood so thankfully we are seeing more wild fish! 🙂

  3. When we lived in Ireland we used to watch the kids come, lean over the side of the pier, pick off mussels and eat them - that's fresh! We eat a lot of salmon and some cod - don't know what kind though. Fennel goes so well with fish! It's all being farmed because demand is so high because there are so many people.... 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

closearrow-circle-o-downbarschevron-up-circle