Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baked Cod Packets

Tonight we had these quick, easy, and delicious cod packets. It is almost a complete meal with a fillet of fish nestled in a bed of spinach, leeks, and bell peppers. I served the packets with a side of white rice and the kids wanted a drizzle of soy sauce on theirs. Last week we even cooked the foil packets in the fireplace which added a bit of smokey flavor but tonight we opted for the oven. Either way it is terrific and cleanup is a snap!!!
Baked Cod Packets - 4 packets
4 cod fillets
1 leek, (I cut the bottom, white portion of slice it in half and thoroughly rinse it in the sink)
1 handful of spinach per packet
1/2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
Place 4 large pieces of foil on the counter. Tear a handful of spinach leaves apart and place in the center of each piece of foil. Thinly slice the leek and add a quarter of the leeks to each packet. Place the bell pepper slices on top of the leeks, reserving two to three for the top of each fish fillet. Drizzle vegetables with a small amount of oil and season with salt and pepper. Place one fillet on top of each packet and place the remaining peppers on top of each piece of fish. Drizzle with a little more oil and season lightly again. Pull two sides of foil up over the fish and fold over two times. Next, fold the open edges over a few times to completely close. Repeat with remaining packets. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. If the fish is white and firm to the touch it is ready. Serve with a scoop of rice.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

English Muffins

I've made quite a few yeast breads in the last couple of weeks and they've all turned out really well. I've always liked a good English muffin toasted with a touch of butter and jam. This homemade version hit the spot and I will definitely be making them again and again. I like that I can make the dough the night before and put it on the griddle in the morning. The cornmeal crust made a bit of a mess, but it was worth it. I split them open and toasted them a little and I ate mine with a poached egg on top. Delish!

English Muffins
adapted from Artisan Breads Every Day
I cooked mine in ring forms, but you can cut the top and bottom off of a tuna fish can or the ring to a large canning jar and that would work just as well.
2 t honey
1 T oil
1 1/2 c warm milk
2 2/3 cup bread flour
1 1/2 t kosher salt
2 t instant or rapid rise yeast
1/4 t baking soda
3 T warm water
1/2 c cornmeal
Dissolve honey in the milk and oil mixture. In a stand mixer bowl, add the flour, salt, and yeast together, Stir to combine. Add the milk mixture and mix until combined and sticky. Switch to a bread hook and mix for another minute. Transfer dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure to place directly on the surface of the dough so that it does not dry out or form a skin. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.
Take the dough out 2 hours before baking and let it come to room temperature. Just before cooking, mix baking soda and water together and then fold into dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes while you heat a nonstick pan or cast iron pan or griddle. Spray each ring with cooking spray or wipe with oiled paper towel. Dip oiled rings into cornmeal and then place on oiled cooking surface. Sprinkle more cornmeal in the bottom of the ring and then put a scant 1/3 cup batter in each ring. Sprinkle more cornmeal on the surface of the batter. You'll want your heat to be on medium or medium low since you are cooking these for 10-12 minutes per side. Flip after batter is golden brown on one side and top is dry on the edges and bubbly.
I flipped them rings and all. If you remove the rings too early the batter squishes out at the edges and they are a little less perfect looking - but they taste just as good! These were great fresh and held up quite well. We ate them within 4 days, and even on day 4 they tasted fresh and tender.

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