When I went to the store yesterday, my plan was to pick up some salmon for dinner. John, my fishmonger, told me that scallops were the best pick in the case. If I'd been dining solo, scallops would have been perfect, but because the rest of my family doesn't like them, I asked John for another suggestion. He steered me toward the cod, saying it was really great. He was right, as usual.
Once home, I had to decide to how to prepare the cod. I was in an Italian-food mood, so I decided marinara sauce had to play a part in this preparation, and I happened to have an opened jar in the fridge. My family will eat almost anything with breadcrumbs on it, so those came out too. And so began the creation of "Bruschetta Cod," named after the appetizer featuring garlic-rubbed bread that's toasted and topped with tomatoes, basil and olive oil. I grabbed a few more things from the pantry and got to work. Within minutes, the cod was in the oven and I was on to steaming the vegetables. Twenty minutes later, we were sitting down to dinner.
Tip: Impress friends and family: The correct pronunciation of the word bruschetta is "bruce-ketta." Most people say "brew-shetta" which is incorrect.
1 pound fresh cod, cut into three equal-size pieces
salt and pepper
1/3 cup marinara sauce
a few diced sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 T. olive oil, with a crushed garlic clove and some chopped parsley or basil mixed in
1 T. Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
2. Rinse cod and pat dry with paper towels. Remove bones if necessary. Place three pieces of cod on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.
3. Spread a nice layer of marinara sauce on top of each piece of fish. Place the sun-dried tomatoes on top of the marinara sauce.
4. In a small bowl, combine the panko with the garlic olive oil (or use Wegman's Basting Oil - it's already got garlic and herbs in it) and the Parmesan cheese. Season the bread crumbs with a little salt and pepper. Divide the bread crumbs evenly over each piece of fish.
5. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until fish is cooked throughout. Serve with a lemon wedge or extra marinara sauce and steamed vegetables of your choice.