Torsk & Vegan Wheatberry Salad

Vegan Wheatberry Salad & Sauteed Cod

Add 1 cup of wheatberries and a tsp of salt to 2 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover and let cook for an hour. Check to make sure it doesn’t burn, adding more water if necessary. Strain and rinse in cold water and set aside.

In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of chopped onions with 1 red pepper, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 serrano chili and 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped. Squeeze the juice of 1 fresh lime and add 2 to 3 TBSP of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the wheatberries and refrigerate until it’s time to serve. This makes 4 servings – but only gets better the second day.

I get frozen Alaskan cod from Schwann’s because it’s easy, convenient and delicious and it’s as close as someone in Portland can get to torsk (Arctic cod). If you live in Minnesota or North Dakota, you can probably get torsk more easily. I thawed the fillet, added 1/2 tbsp of butter to a saute pan, tossed in the cod and sprinkled salt, pepper, dill weed and paprika on it and let it cook lighting on one side for 3 minutes, turned to cook another minute on the other side and then plated. I added a large serving of the wheatberry salad on the side.

The torsk was, as always, light and flaky. The paprika gives it a nice smokiness and the dill adds a bit of freshness. The salad was crunchy and fresh with plenty of heat from the serrano and a bright tang from the limes. I love the flavor of lime and chili together and this salad was a great medium for those flavors.

Arctic Cod Zucchini Packets with Wheatberry Salad and a Veggie Hash

Zucchini Wrapped Cod with Wheatberry Salad & Tomato-Zucchini Hash

This was super simple. First I sliced a zucchini vertically, giving myself long thin slices. I laid three down on the counter and placed one fillet of cod in the middle. I sprinkled it with salt, pepper and dill weed and then folded the strips up and around. I placed the packet with the open side down on some already heated olive oil to saute. I cooked at a low medium so that the fish did not cook too quickly and the zucchini browned nicely. I turned carefully and cooked on the other side.

I then chopped the rest of the zucchini, a quarter onion and a tomato. In another pan, I sauteed the onions before adding the zucchini and tomato, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder and let them cook. As soon as it was done, I put some grated parmesan cheese on top and stirred it in. I plated it with some microwave-warmed wheatberry salad, sprinkling a bit of balsamic vinegar on top. I then put the cod packet on the plate with the closed side up.

The flavors blended well with the savory wheatberry a nice contrast to the light and slightly tart zucchini/tomato hash and the subtle freshness of the cod and zucchini. The zucchini was nicely browned and added just the touch of toastiness while keeping the cod moist and perfectly tender.

Sauteed Arctic Cod with Cucumber Salad

Sauteed Arctic Cod with Cucumber Salad

I washed the cucumber and sliced it thinly on a mandoline. I took half a sweet onion and did the same. I chopped a tomato into small pieces. Tossed in a bit of vinegar and some salt and pepper and a 1/4th of a dried chili pepper and called it tasty.

For the torsk or Arctic cod, I melted 1/2 TBSP of butter in a saute pan. I added the cod fillet and cooked lightly on one side. Turning it over, I grated fresh  nutmeg over the fish. I know most folks think of nutmeg for baking, but nutmeg is so delicious on cod. Nothing tastes better than the piquant bite of nutmeg,  but be sure it’s fresh  nutmeg. I think the reason most people only use nutmeg for baking is that they are using the mild, dry and not nearly so tasty ground nutmeg in a jar.

It cooks quickly, serve it with the remaining butter in the pan and the salad on the side.

Torsk & Roasted Green Beans

Torsk with Roasted Green Beans

This is the easiest thing in the world to make. I picked up these fabulous fresh green beans at the Farmers Market. I snapped the vine ends off and then sprinkled them with some olive oil and kosher salt before roasting at 450 degrees. As soon as I put them in the oven, I took a frozen arctic cod fillet from the oven and in a non-stick skillet at medium heat, I placed 1 tbsp of butter and just put the frozen fillet right on top of that. I put a cover on the pan and let it cook ten minutes. I turned it over and grated fresh nutmeg on top and put the lid back on. In five minutes everything was done. I grated a bit more fresh nutmeg on top just before serving with the butter I cooked it in and the green beans on the side.

I know many of you have never tried nutmeg on fish – you have no idea how perfectly it complements the subtle fish flavor, giving it just a tiny bite and a bit of tang.

Wine-Poached Torsk, Lemon & Ginger Braised Parsnips and Roasted Vegetables

Wine-Poached Cod, LemonGinger Parsnips, Roasted Vegetables

First I cleaned and cut up some vegetables to roast, making sure to keep the size fairly uniform. I used one sprig of broccoli, one large floret of cauliflower, about 6 fingerling potatoes, a small onion and three cloves of garlic. I tossed them with 1 TBSP of garlic and a teaspoon of kosher salt. I put them all in my paella pan in the oven at 450° to roast until done – about 25 minutes. As always, roasting vegetable until they begin to blacken and caramelize gives you the most delicious umami flavor that makes you feel so well-fed and satisfied.

Meanwhile, I julienned one parsnip and chopped about 1 TBSP of fresh ginger. I juiced one fresh lemon and put all the juice in a saucepan with the ginger and parsnip and let it simmer, braising the parsnip until done. I added just enough water to keep the parsnips cooking without charring. When the parsnips are nearly done (about 15 minutes) add 1 tsp on sugar and stir in well. This makes 2 servings, so set half aside for tomorrow. The parsnips will have a just shy of pucker sour, sharp lemony brightness with some extra bite from the ginger. Serve with caution as they can become addictive.

In a small pan, I put 1/4 cup of white wine on to simmer with two frozen 4 oz. fillets of Alaskan Cod or Torsk. I added a few peppercorns (around 6-8) and about a teaspoon of dry mustard and 2 tsp of dried tarragon. I poached the torsk in the wine, turning to cook on both sides. The fish is done as soon as it turns to opaque in the center and will be tender and flakey. This takes about 10 minutes or so. I took 8 green olives, cut them in half and tossed in just before serving. I removed the cod and plated it, adding a dash of dill weed. I added 1 tsp of flour to the poaching wine and stirred in well to thicken the sauce just a bit before spooning it on the fish. This has a subtle and delicate flavor of wine and olive, but not so strong that it overwhelms the fish.

I put the fish on the plate, spooned the sauce over it. On the other side of the plate I put half the parsnips. I pulled the roast vegetables out and placed them in the center. Both side dishes are vegan and very tasty. The flavor contrasts with the bright, sharp parsnips, the savory veggies and the delicate fish were immensely satisfying.

Torsk with Two Salads & Grapes

I poached the torsk for dinner tonight in order to skip the olive oil since I had such a big lunch. I just heated some water in the skillet with about a teaspoon of chopped onions and when the water was hot, I added the torsk. I still used lots of nutmeg. If you have never put nutmeg on cod, you have no idea what you are missing! I added a serving of the Cabbage salad and the cucumber salad and some green grapes.

Torsk & Green Beans

Torsk is made with an Arctic or Alaskan Cod fillet. I melted 1/2 TBSP of butter in a sautee pan and put the fillet on to cook. After cooking for two minutes, I flipped it over and let it cook on the other side. I grated fresh nutmeg on the top, added some salt and pepper and let it cook for two more minutes.  Meanwhile, I took one cup of frozen french cut green beans and tossed them in a nonstick pan with 2 TBSP of Trader Joe’s Corn & Chili Tomato-less Salsa and cooked until done. I like my beans to still have a bit of bite to them so some people might want to start the beans before the fish if they like the beans more well-done.