Skip to main content

Foodie Reads 2016: Polenta-Crusted Cod with Mango Salsa


Spring break has been fantastic for my Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge, I've been able to cross half a dozen books off my to-read list. While the boys worked on their movie, over the past few days, I packed a book and read in between takes and sledding with D.


On the Page...
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg* was my book of choice when we went to Desolation Wilderness and when we were at the summit of Mt. Rose. 


Paul Greenberg is a lifelong fisherman and talented writer. And in Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food he provides the reader an entertaining and informative natural history and social commentary on the state of commercial fishing, aquaculture, and fisheries management around the world. 

His book focuses on four fish: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. He uses those species as jumping off points for further exploration.

In the section on salmon, Greenberg visits the Yupiks on the Yukon River, details the genesis of Norwegian aquaculture, and explores salmon genetics. In "Sea Bass: The Holiday Fish Goes to Work", Greenberg shares Franics Galton's criteria regarding animal selection for domestication and delves into fishing restrictions. He introduces readers to the Sustainable Fisheries Act, invites Mark Kurlansky over for a cod taste test (in search of that perfect flake), and heads to Vietnam to look at a whitefish alternative, tra. And in "Tuna: One Last Bite" he shares a candid story that made me love him all the more.

Greenberg has just published an article with the proclamation that we shouldn't eat big fish; he equates eating bluefin tuna to driving a Hummer. Yes, that's bad, too. 

But two weeks after making my high-minded pronouncements, I found myself at a family dinner party at an upscale Manhattan restaurant. The appetizer choice on the prix fixe menu was either a mini-sirloin steak or bluefind tuna carpaccio. ...I chose the bluefin. I quickly scarfed it down and nearly forgot about the delicous paper-thin slices after they had been washed down with a glass of pinot grigio. I turned to my twelve-year-old daughter, who had ordered the sirloin...and had just read my New York Times op in in draft form. "Hypocrite," she said coolly. (pp 215-216)

I think what appealed to me about that entire exchange: he's clearly human. It's easy to stand on a culinary soapbox and tell people what to eat and what not to eat. But to engage and inform and, then, to put the onus back on the reader is a much more effective strategy. Besides, if I learned nothing else from this, I learned that the ocean and the food supply there is constantly in flux. We, as conscientious eaters, need to make adjustments based on a number of variables. There is no single choice that is going to be the correct choice permanently.

If you eat fish, you really should read this book. While I felt that I was making good choices in my seafood purchases before, I feel much better equipped after reading Greenberg's book.


On the Plate...
I thought about making something with salmon. There's not much better than salmon caught by your Love right in your own bay. And, salmon season opens this weekend, I think!

photo by Captain Dan Wood, April 2012

I considered sharing a recipe for seared tuna. I really do love that crisp sear against super fresh, raw tuna.


But, in the end, I decided to see if I could achieve that "perfect flake" on some pan-fried cod.

Ingredients serves 4

Fish

  • 4 cod filets
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 C gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 C polenta
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T coconut oil

Mango Salsa

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 C diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 C diced avocado
  • 1 T fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
Procedure

Mango Salsa
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Stir until well-combined. Set aside.

Fish
Pat each filet dry and generously season with salt and pepper. Place flour and polenta onto separate shallow plates or bowls. Working one piece of a time, coat each piece with flour. Melt butter and coconut oil in a large, flat-bottom skillet.

Press the filets firmly into the polenta until a thick layer forms. Place fish polenta-side down in the melted butter and coconut oil.

Cook until the polenta is deep golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Carefully flip fish and cook for another 5 minutes until the fish is opaque and firm. When done top with mango salsa.

I served this on top of a lentil-sorghum salad with roasted kabocha squash and carrots on the side.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


Here's what everyone else read in April 2016: here.

Comments

  1. I love mango salsa but never take the time to cut up mangos for myself at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Heather. Yes, cutting mangos can be a messy project. But this salsa is so, so tasty. It's definitely worth it!

      Delete
  2. Great post Cam. Sharing at Fish Friday Foodies and posting to our board. Thanks

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur