Honey Teriyaki Baked Cod…

I know, I know I haven’t written in a while. Summer seems to have gotten a hold of my priorities and I’ve had a lot less time to spend in the kitchen. But I will try to be as faithful to my posting goals as I can – just be aware there may be a little more time between posts during the summer. After all, summer is the time to be out and about, right? So be patient with me and I promise to continue to deliver some great, no nonsense recipes.

And speaking of great, no nonsense recipes – this is definitely one of them. I recently read an article that talked about how Americans are still eating too much processed meats and should make an effort to add more fish to their diets. I know that’s something that my husband and I have been trying to do. Neither one of us grew up eating a lot of fish – it was just either too expensive or not something that was a regular part of the diets in our families.

My doctor told me there is a lot of research regarding when you were born, the diets that existed at the time and how that has affected your weight and health as you age. I grew up in a household where carbs were king, bread and potatoes mostly, and we know now the affects of too many carbs on weight and health. So my doctor said the same thing – try eating more fish. And you know what, it’s been quite pleasant actually.

I guarantee you this recipe will have you eating more fish. It is so simple to make and so flavorful you’ll wonder why you waited so long to bring more fish to the table. So let’s talk honey teriyaki baked cod…

Lesson Learned 1 – All fish are not created equal when it comes to cooking them: I think that’s the part of cooking fish that makes people shy away from doing it. So it’s important, if possible, to cut your fish into equal sized portions to determine a somewhat standard cooking time for it. I usually cut 4 to 6 ounce portions. That way I am relatively sure how long to cook my fish.

Keep in mind that portion size is only one factor. The type of fish also contributes to the equation. I’ve found that a 6 ounce portion of salmon has a different cooking time than a 6 ounce portion of cod. Cod cooks in less time. The main thing to remember is you can always put the fish back in the oven or pan if it is not cooked well enough, but once it dries out you’re stuck – you can’t take it back. So err on the side of caution and I guarantee you’ll get the hang of it. I’ve been doing it so often now that I can tell when fish is done by how it looks – but that took a lot of time, so be patient with yourself.

Lesson Learned 2 – The longer you marinate the cod in this recipe, the better: I marinated mine for about 7 hours but you can go up to 24 hours on this one. I may try that next time if I have the time, but it was quite flavorful after being marinated for 7 hours. I wouldn’t marinate it for less than 6 hours – I don’t think the fish will absorb the flavors of the marinade that well if you only marinate it for a short while. And don’t forget to turn the bag over every once in a while to make sure both sides of the fish are getting the marinade.

Marinade Ingredients

Lesson Learned 3 – Working with fresh ginger: I know a lot of people use fresh ginger quite regularly but I’m not one of them. But there is no substitute for it when you need it. What I learned is that you can freeze the ginger root. I put mine in a vacuum sealed bag and freeze it. That way when I need it, it’s as fresh as it can be. And I don’t have to buy ginger root every time I need it. It keeps beautifully in the freezer. So use what you need and freeze the rest. You’ll increase the lifetime of the ginger root substantially.

Lesson Learned 4 – Avoiding a big mess when baking this fish: Something important to remember is there is honey in this marinade – and honey will burn in the oven. So whenever I cook fish with a honey based marinade I put the fish on a foil lined pan and spray the pan with cooking spray before I lay out the fish. That way you eliminate or greatly minimize any sticking and the pan is easy to clean with no burnt on mess.

This recipe is extremely simple – the only challenge initially may be feeling comfortable with how to cook it correctly. If you use my directions you’ll be fine, or at least you will not overcook your fish and can judge if you need a little extra time. I doubt that you will need a lot more, but it’s always good to err on the safe side. All you need to remember is that the fish is done if you can flake it with a fork. Just test the edges if you’re not sure. Enjoy this one – it’s a keeper!

Honey Teriyaki Baked Cod...

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

4 – six ounce pieces of fresh cod

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sesame oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 small shallot, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger

1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

Cooking spray

Lemon wedge, for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl mix the honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, cider vinegar, shallot, ginger and black pepper. Place the cod filets in a gallon size resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the cod (use a spatula to scrape in any remaining honey from the bowl). Seal the bag and marinate the fish in the refrigerator from 6 – 24 hours, turning the bag over every once in a while.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the marinated cod on a foil line baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon a little of the marinade on top of each piece. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Grilled Ronde de Nice Squash…

Have you ever heard of Ronde de Nice Squash? I hadn’t, that is until I went to our local farmers market last Saturday.

I love our local farmers market especially this time of year. What an array of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available. It seems like every time I go I learn something new. This last time I was introduced to a wonderful member of the squash family called Ronde de Nice Squash.

Ronde de Nice Squash looks a lot like acorn squash but slightly smaller in size. I asked the farmer to tell me what it tastes like and how to cook it. She told me that it’s very similar to zucchini. She said I could grill it or I could scoop some of it out and add ingredients such as ground beef, rice and chopped vegetables and bake it. Another shopper heard my question and suggested that I marinate it and grill it. Ultimately that’s what I decided to do.

I always get excited when I learn a new cooking technique or try a new food. I was pleasantly surprised with this member of the squash family. So let’s talk Ronde de Nice Squash.

Lesson Learned 1 – This squash is much easier to cut than an acorn squash: I was not prepared for how easy this squash was to cut. I thought it would be hard like an acorn squash but the skin is much thinner on this squash. When you cut into it, the flesh looks very similar so zucchini as you can see from the picture below.

There is no need to seed it – the seeds are very small and quite soft just like a newly ripened small zucchini. I removed the stem on top and cut each half into half and then cut slices that were approximately 1/2 inch thick. I found that using this thickness made the squash stand up beautifully to the grilling process.

Lesson Learned 2 – Marinate the slices for at least 2 hours: You can use any type of marinade you like with this squash. I chose a simple Italian dressing marinade. Marinate the squash for at least two hours in the refrigerator, turning the squash over at regular intervals to make sure all pieces are evenly marinated. I kept my squash marinating for 4 hours and the flavor really came through when it was grilled.

Lesson Learned 3 – Your grilling time may vary: Your grilling time will depend on how you like your squash, crisp tender or soft. I wanted mine crisp tender and so I grilled my squash for 15 minutes. As with ovens, no two grills are alike. Know your grill and determine your best cooking time from there. I use a gas grill but if you use a charcoal grill I would recommend putting these slices outside of the hottest areas on the grill. Otherwise you may burn them before you cook them.

I love it when I try new foods and it turns out great. Go ahead, be adventurous. It doesn’t take much. And try this recipe. I know you’ll love it!

Grilled Ronde de Nice Squash

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

1 Ronde de Nice Squash, cut in quarters

1 cup marinade, (I used Italian dressing)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cut squash in half. Remove the stem and cut the halves into half. Cut 1/2 inch slices from the quarter pieces.

Place pieces in a plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the squash. Seal the bag and turn it several times to ensure the marinade is reaching all of the pieces. Place on a flat surface in the refrigerator. Marinate the squash for a minimum of 2 hours regularly turning the bag over so all pieces are evenly marinated.

Heat your grill to medium heat (on a gas grill the heat was between 350-400). Place slices on the grill. Turn slices over halfway through the cooking time (for crisp tender the cooking time is 15 minutes). Do not move the slices until they are ready to be turned.

Remove the slices from the grill. Serve immediately.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Grilled Salmon In Foil Packets

It’s getting close to the time when grilling food will be less and oven prepared food will be more. Well, this recipe gives you that grilled look from being baked in the oven in a foil packet. What I like about this recipe is it’s so easy to prepare and cook, so even if your a novice at cooking fish this recipe will turn you into a pro!

So let’s talk about grilled salmon in foil packets…

Two Six Ounce Salmon Filets

Two Six Ounce Salmon Filets

Lesson Learned 1 – The portion size for salmon: I had a butcher tell me that the correct portion size for salmon is eight ounces. I don’t agree with that. I think it is six ounces. If you’re feeding big eaters get eight ounce portions, but for most six ounces is more than enough. Both six and eight ounce portions cook for approximately the same time, give or take a few minutes for the larger size portion. Stick with a 6 ounce portion and the cooking time in the recipe and the salmon will turn out perfectly every time. I have a wonderful grocery store nearby that always has large pieces of salmon in the meat case. I get the butcher to cut them fresh for me every time. I also ask the butcher to cut the piece from the center and not from the ends.

Lesson Learned 2 – Removing the skin from the salmon: This is probably the most time consuming part of the entire recipe. You need to remove the skin of the salmon before baking it. Now you can always ask a butcher to do that, but I prefer doing it myself as I like to make sure that I am removing the skin with the least amount of flesh attached to it. But if you’re afraid to do it or feel like you don’t have the time, just ask your butcher.

Removing the skin from the salmonTo remove the skin you need to work with a very sharp knife. I use a boning knife. Start at the thick end of the filet and see if, by hand, you can slightly lift up part of the skin. Normally you can. Then place the blade of the knife up against the skin and slowly begin to move the knife down the skin. While your moving your knife, try to get as much of your hand holding the skin and pull toward the thin end of the filet as you move the knife.

This process may take a little time and you want to make sure you are removing mostly skin and not flesh. That is why you need a very sharp knife for this. Otherwise you may sacrifice a lot of the salmon to the skin. Take your time and don’t get frustrated. Just continue to methodically move the knife down the skin will pulling the skin toward the thin side of the filet.

That grilled look from baking in the ovenLesson Learned 3 – Getting the grilled on the salmon filet by using a foil packet: Once the salmon has marinated you just put it in a foil packet on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven for 15 minutes. No need to prep the foil in any way. Since the marinade has brown sugar in it, the bottom of the salmon will slightly caramelize. When removing the salmon from the packet simply flip it over when you put it on the plate and the salmon will look like it was made on the grill. It’s so easy and such a neat trick!

This is my go to salmon recipe. I love it because it is quick and easy and, by the way, did I tell you it’s pretty darn delicious. So try this one and tell me what you think…

Grilled Salmon In Foil Packets…

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

4 six ounce salmon filets, skin removed

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup water

half of a third of a cup of vegetable oil

2 medium-large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, slightly chopped (I used lemony thyme)

1 tsp. lemon pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Put the brown sugar, soy sauce, water, oil, garlic, thyme and lemon pepper into a bowl. Whisk completely making sure to incorporate all of the brown sugar into the liquid.

Place the salmon filets into a resealable bag. Pour the marinade over the filets. NOTE:  You may need to use a spatula to get the residual brown sugar from the bottom of the bowl into the bag. It is important that as much brown sugar as possible is in the marinade mixture while the filets are marinating. Marinate the filets for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Using a piece of additional foil for each filet, loosely wrap the filet in the foil folding the edges up at the ends to make a packet. Place all the packets on the foil lined pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. When removing the salmon from the foil, make sure to flip it over so the caramelized side is on the top when serving. Serve immediately.

The Marinade

The Marinade

Marinate Filets In A Resealable Bag For 4 Hours

Put the salmon and marinade into a resealable plastic bag…

A Foil Packet

Salmon in a foil packet…

Serving Suggestion: Grilled Salmon with Panko Crusted Tomatoes and Roasted Baby Red Potatoes...

Serving Suggestion: Grilled Salmon with Panko Crusted Tomatoes and Roasted Baby Red Potatoes…