"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Roasted Rock Cod: A Delicious, Healthy, and Fun Fish Meal for The Whole Family

I have a binder on my kitchen counter, labeled "Adelmise's Favorite Recipes."  I also have a couple of online recipe books that I keep so that I can easily find my favorites when I feel like making something that I love. Some of the recipes that I consider my favorites are my favorites because they are simple and easy to make. Some are my favorites because they are convenient, but packed with flavors. Others are my favorites because they are healthy and kids like them (those are true keeps!). Still others are my favorites because they are fun to make. Life is stressful as it is. I think any chance you have to make cooking "fun" you should take it.  Some of the recipes make their ways to my "Favorite Recipes Binder" because, well, they are all of the above.  This recipe from Wolfgang Puck is one of those recipes that I consider my favorites: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wolfgang-puck/roast-rock-cod-with-fennel-and-beurre-blanc-recipe/index.html

The recipe calls for a whole fish (Rock Cod).  http://fishcooking.about.com/od/standardfish/p/rockfish_profil.htm. Some people may be intimidated by the idea of cooking a whole fish. But, here is what I did, which may help reduce the intimidation. Today, I wanted to make and enjoy a nice meal for my family (tough busy week already and it's only Wednesday, but at least we're all healthy).  While at work today, I called the San Francisco Fish Company in the Ferry Building (San Francisco) and asked them what sorts of fresh wild fish they had on hand. Well, they had a lot! So, I walked over and brought in the recipe. They scaled the fish for me. They also cleaned and cut the pockets into the fish for me. So, all I had to do when I got home was rinse the fish out, pat it dry, and season it.  Easy!  It was really fun showing the kids the whole fish.  They absolutely loved it!

I modified a couple of the ingredients in the recipe. I did not use the alcohol the recipe called for - I used a tablespoon of brandy, which I already had in my pantry. I also did not use the red pepper flakes because I wanted the kids to eat the fish.  Also, I used only 1 fennel bulb, and used more fingerling potatoes because I personally like potatoes more than fennel because of the texture, but fennel has an essence and flavor that you can't replace with anything else. I also omitted the garnish (lemon and parsley) because it's a weeknight, kids were hungry, and I wanted to get the food on the table.

This dish can be made as a weeknight meal or a weekend meal, depending on what you have on hand. For me, I had everything at home except for the fish, potatoes, fennel, and tomatoes. So, constructing the dish was easy, convenient, fun, and super flavorful! From start to finish, it took about 1 hour to enjoy a delicious, flavorful, healthy meal.

To thoroughly enjoy the dish, and wind down from a looooong day at work, Patrick and I enjoyed a glass of one of our favorite wines (Ferrari Carano's Siena 2009). http://www.ferrari-carano.com/trade/pres-bldr/images/Siena09btg.pdf  This wine is a truly amazing blend of red wines (Sangiovese blended with Malbec and Syrah).  We first fell in love with this wine during a romantic anniversary visit to Sonoma a few years ago.  I love the winery's description of this wine as: "A remarkably harmonious and well integrated red, smooth, ripe, rich and concentrated, with complex black cherry, raspberry, anise, sage and spice flavors. Finishes with a long, fruity aftertaste."  This wine pairs extremely well with the fish dish because of the fennel and onion flavors in the dish. You can buy it at Safeway for $19.00.

Next time you are in the mood for a delicious fish dish, I hope you download this recipe and enjoy!

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel

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