With the change in weather now in full effect, the sweaters have come out, the scarfs have been arranged, and there’s usually a cup of tea in my hand while I’m cooking in my comfy pants (oh yes, I am more or less cooking in my yoga pants and pjs because I like to be comfortable when I cook, and it’s not like I’m in front of the camera). And even though the fall makes me itch towards Chicken & Dumplings (smitten kitchen just revisited her recipe for it and it has LEEKS in it! Oh my gosh I can’t wait to make this soon soon soon!) and Baked Apple Streusel (a recipe I made for the first time on a whim during my first fall in Chicago, so worry not, a delicious recipe to satiate anyone’s fall craving is coming to a kitchen near you). And I’ve also been craving fish, oddly enough.
Sure, Fall doesn’t scream “FISH,” but sometimes you need a break from the rich and heavy stuff for a moment, bring back some freshness to the table, so I turned to Cod fish, a white flaky fish with a seriously mild taste that can be easily applied to a ton of different flavor profiles (think of it almost like chicken). Cod can be fried (like chicken), it can be stewed (like chicken) or curried (like chicken), and it can be baked/pan seared (like chicken). I know fish can be scary, and believe me, it still sometimes scares me when I get the courage to try cooking with it, but with the right combination of spices and sauce, it’s something else! And so I tried a Roasted Chili-Lime Cod recipe from Fashionable Foods (topped with a lime butter sauce that was SO tasty) with wild rice (from a box because you shouldn’t feel you have to make EVERYTHING from scratch when a little help goes a long way) and roasted cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, thyme, and basil!
This cod dish is incredibly bright and vivacious on the plate, a dish that brings everything to life on your palate, and the spice does help kick things up a notch as well. It’s fast and easy to whip up all the ingredients in a bowl, and if you want things to get interesting, sub out the regular olive oil with a complimentary flavored oil. The oil I used (and is pictured) is actually homemade chili oil that my friends got as a gift from their wedding officiant. He gave them a ton of jars, and they were kind enough to share one with me, so I thought, what better way to accent and highlight the brightness of the spices than with a little kick to the oil that’s being absorbed into the fish? And then to top it off with a lime butter? That tang of citrus helps cut the spice a little too, not to mention that butter just makes everything better!
I thought to pair the fish with tomatoes (just to add an extra note of bright acidity to the plate since the fish is pretty mild and the spice mix is pretty powerful on its own), and while fresh tomatoes on their own with a little salt on time is just a great way to feature the ingredient, I wanted to make use of the oven while I had it on anyway. I threw the tomatoes into the oven when I was letting my fish refrigerate, and took them out when the fish was done cooking, so that both components could be served together, piping hot from the oven! And they were so succulent and slightly sweet, but robust and juicy! These little tasty nuggets are just as easy to throw together as the fish, and pair great with chicken or pasta, in addition to fish, and you can let them cool longer to serve over top a salad as well! You can’t go wrong with this side, and you can also change up the herbs you’re using to make things interesting like subbing fresh for the dried (though I think those have a greater tendency to burn rather than bloom and develop into something more) or adding in some parsley instead of oregano. Maybe even throw in a sprig of rosemary!
Hoping the start of your Fall is as deliciously scrumptious as it is in my kitchen! —Cooking Maggie
Roasted Chili-Lime Cod from Fasionable Foods
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 18 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried Basil
- 1 tablespoon dried Thyme
- 2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 450F, line a baking sheet with foil, and spread out the halved cherry tomatoes all over the sheet.
- Sprinkle minced garlic evenly over tomatoes. In a separate small bowl, add the basil, thyme, and oregano, then sprinkle the mixture overtop of the tomatoes, trying to cover all of them with a little bit.
- Pour olive oil over tomatoes and top with salt & pepper (sprinkling from farther up, think close to your forehead, will make it easier to cover all the tomatoes with enough of the seasoning.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time till they look wrinkled, but not burned. Let cool for two minutes, then serve with fish, chicken, pasta.