As I’m sure you’d all agree, the start of the holiday season has been a whirlwind! Frankly, I’d originally been thinking that things might slow down a bit for us after Thanksgiving…that work might take a breather in lieu of the holidays; that our free weekends might have stayed blissfully free. Boy was I wrong! Which is why I’ve been having trouble getting a healthy dinner on the table, let alone anything blog worthy.
Luckily, during a quick trip to the supermarket over the weekend, I managed to pick up some fish filets in the frozen section. I’ve been trying to make fish more regularly during the week, given its many health benefits, ability to pair with healthy sides and….best of all….quick preparation time.
This dish in particular is a favorite for winter. You may be scrunching your nose at the idea of fish with truffles, but the combination is really quite delicious. Cod is such a light, mild fish that it marries perfectly with the earthy flavor of truffles. This works wonderfully paired with garlic mashed potatoes and some lightly steamed veggies. It makes for a surprisingly hearty and elegant meal. In fact, although we happily eat this on weeknights, its really elegant enough to serve to company and could be an excellent meal for a holiday gathering.
The ease of preparation makes it especially perfect. Simply cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray lightly with a mist of olive oil. Place the fish filets, sprinkle on the panko topping and gently press it onto the fish with your fingers. Spray a mist of olive oil over the crust and pop into the oven. Within 15 – 20 minutes, they’re ready to serve. Delicious!
Okay…so before I get to the recipe, I have to do some bragging. I mentioned I haven’t had time to cook much this past week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been in the kitchen. JiT and I undertook a little project this weekend on a whim. We stopped at Home Depot for some lightbulbs and walked out with all the materials to add a stone tile backsplash to our kitchen. Having no experience with this sort of thing, we werent’ sure what we were getting ourselves into, but about 5 hours (and a second trip to Home Depot) later, we were done.
Here are a before and and after shot (sorry the “after” is a bit fuzzy). I think the tile makes the kitchen look so much nicer!! Just goes to show, anybody can do anything, if you put your mind to it!
Now, on to the recipe:
Baked Cod with Truffled Panko Crust
2 filets cod, thawed if frozen
1/2 cup Japanese panko bread crumbs
1 dried shitake mushroom, chopped very finely (optional)
2 tsp. truffle oil
Fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil in a mister, or cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lightly mist with olive oil or cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, mushroom (if using), truffle oil and a few grinds of salt and pepper.
Place fish filets on the baking sheet. Sprinkle panko mixture evenly over the top of the fish filets until they have a nice coating. Using your fingers, gently pat the crumb mixture into the filets to make them stick. Mist a light coating of olive oil or cooking spray evenly over the top of the breading. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. Fish will be opaque and flake easily when cooked. Don’t overcook. Serve immediately (with a squirt of fresh lemon juice if desired).