Sunday, October 25, 2009

Roasted Cod with Baked Beans and Garlic Croutons

I could quite literally eat beans every day. I just love them. Lentils, butter beans, limas, garbanzos, cannellini. Last year we had a delicious dinner at a local country club and enjoyed Chilean Sea Bass served with hand-raked sea salt. Also included on the plate was baked beans, italian style. I don't really remember how they described it, but I surely don't have their talent for making food sound really, I'll just call them italian-style baked beans. It was quite possibly one of the best dinners I've ever had and I was anxious to try to re-create it. Since I was fresh out of "hand-raked sea salt", I just kind of used the ingredients I had on hand. I made a few substitutions, but I'm quite pleased with the result. I wish I could have included some pictures, but I've yet to talk my husband into purchasing another camera.
I used cod instead of sea bass because I think it has a similar texture, and the best part is that it costs $9/lb instead of $30/lb. I use canned beans as a rule, just because I haven't found that the taste warrants the extra work of preparing dried beans. I use cannellini in this dish and I think they are just the right size, but I'm sure any other white bean (navy, butter, etc) would make a fine substitution.
Both of the components of the dish are started on the stovetop and finished in the oven, and finish quite quickly. Make sure that your saute pan is oven-proof, or if you need to, (like I do)wrap any non-metal surfaces in aluminum foil.

Roasted Cod
1 5oz cod portion per person
2 T canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a non-stick saute pan, heat canola oil over high heat.
3. Generously salt and pepper the cod and add to very hot oil. Sear fish for 2 minutes.
4. Place pan into preheated oven and finish cooking for 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Cod will be very tender and moist.

Italian-Style Baked Beans
2 cans cannellini beans
1 garlic clove, minced finely
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 T olive oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes, or 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 T basil, sliced thinly
salt, pepper

1. In small saute pan, add oil, garlic and onion. Cook until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. In baking dish, bake bean mixture for an additional 25 minutes.
3. Top with garlic croutons and roasted cod. Sprinkle additional fresh basil, if desired for garnish.

Garlic Croutons
1/2 loaf small italian bread, cut into small cubes
4 T butter
garlic powder
salt, pepper

1. In a small saute pan, melt butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Add bread cubes and stir until toasted.
3. Serve with italian-style baked beans and roasted cod.

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