Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 4: Indian-Asian Seared Cod with Cilantro-Mint Chutney and Sweet Pea and Coconut Jasmine Rice

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup jasmine rice
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup frozen peas
4 8-ounce portions cod fillet
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 cup fresh cilantro, stems and leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
5 scallions, trimmed of roots, coarsely chopped
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 jalapeno, halved and seeds removed from one half
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons sugar
   Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a sauce pot over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add three fourths of the onions, 1 of the crushed cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper.

Cook for 2 minutes, then add the jasmine rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the coconut and chicken stock and bring up to a simmer. Cover the rice with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 18 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.

Heat a large, nonstick, oven-safe skillet over high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Season the fish with the coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the fish to the pan and sear on the first side for 2 minutes.

While the fish is searing, start preparing the cilantro-mint chutney. Place the remaining one fourth of the onions in a food processor with the cilantro, mint scallions, ginger, the remaining clove of garlic, the jalapeno halves, cumin, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and a splash of water. Puree until smooth.

Flip the seared cod over in the pan, cover with a piece of aluminum foil, transfer to the oven, and bake for 5 minutes. Add the chutney and return to the oven until the fish is firm to the touch and cooked through, another 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir the cooked rice with a fork to distribute the peas in the rice, and remove the crushed garlic clove.

Serve the fish with some warm chutney over the pea and coconut jasmine rice.


This meal was a little better than I thought it would be. The problems I had were with the fish. I bought the frozen fish in a package, so I didn't know what size they were going to be. I should have cooked them for a shorter amount of time because of how small they were. They turned out tough and chewy. Also, since they were frozen, they were very watery and the seared part stuck to the pan, making them "non-seared cod." The only change I made was to leave the coconut out of the rice when cooking it because my DH hates coconut. The girls and I sprinkled ours on top of our rice. It was very good and the girls loved it because it was so sweet :) Next time I will make 1/2 of the chutney recipe because I'm the only one who ate it. It was too spicy for the kids, and DH hates most of the ingredients (especially cilantro and mint). I thought it was very good. We just have too much left over. Oh, and I did add a little more stock to the rice because I always cook rice 1:2, not 2:3. It still had a crunchy crust that formed on the bottom, but that was delicious. 

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