Wish Upon A Dish: Creamy Baked Cod

April 2, 2012

Creamy Baked Cod

I am opening up a new label today and pegging it "Kitchen Sink Meals".

Growing up there was a fast food restaurant called Fat Mikes out on the highway. We called it Chubby's. His Pizza Burgers where to die for but better than that was his Kitchen Sink Hero. A huge hot hero sandwich with everything but the Kitchen Sink in it. Boy, that sandwich was really good. Every week it changed and was only served on Friday nights. After hitting the clubs we would head over to Chubby's and order us a Kitchen Sink.

Anything he had leftover from the week that was still in his cooler, went into that hot hero.....
You never knew what you were gonna get until you took a bite. Oh to be young again. What fun!!

I know everyone that blogs has a version of this, some calling it Clean out the Fridge Monday, Sunday Night Special (soup, sammy, casserole, etc.) but I have settled on 'Kitchen Sink'.

First dish so aptly named is a gratin of cod, crab meat, peas, Mornay sauce and Swiss cheese.
Really no recipe, you split everything up into 4 gratin dishes (in my case two) or one large casserole pan and bake in the oven till it bubbles.

Leaving for the weekend to visit my Dad, I did not want to come home to spoiled food, so on Thursday, this is what we had for dinner.

Inspiration for this dish came from Jacques Pépin. He made a similar seafood bake with leeks and mushrooms (that man is obsessed with mushrooms).

I had a cod fillet in the freezer, so I made a brine and it defrosted in there (half sugar/salt).
I made a basic bechamel sauce, adding some white wine and Swiss cheese. A handful of peas in each gratin pan and topped with seasoned rye crumbs.
I baked it in the oven until the top browned and dinner was served. So easy, so tasty, so healthy.

Creamy Baked Cod
makes 2 gratins (can be doubled or tripled easily)

* 2- 6 ounce white fish fillets sprinkled with salt, pepper and cajun or Old Bay seasoning
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 tablespoon white wine
* 1 cup skim milk (I buy the heart healthy type)
* 1/2 cup crab meat
* 1 tablespoon Parmesan
* 1 tablespoon finely grated Swiss
* 1/2 cup frozen peas
* 2 tablespoons seasoned rye crumbs (recipe follows)

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour to make a roux. Cook for one minute, whisking constantly.
2. Add in wine and milk. Whisk until smooth and let it bubble for 1-2 minutes. Add crab meat.
3. Let cool and spoon over fish. Sauce should be very thick (can be prepared ahead up to this point).
4. Preheat oven to 375°. Add peas to gratins and sprinkle a tablespoon of crumbs on each.
5. Bake 15 minutes or until the top is browned.

Seasoned Fresh Breadcrumbs
* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs processed to a large crumb, not finely processed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil + butter
* 1 crushed, large garlic clove
* Salt & pepper
* Italian Seasonings
* 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan

1. Heat butter and oil in non-stick fry pan. Add garlic cloves and sauté until it starts to brown. Remove.
2. Add breadcrumbs and saute until the start to brown, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Off heat, add salt, pepper, seasonings and cheese.

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