March 4, 2010

Roast Cod with Potatoes and Onions


I’ve been having one of those blah weeks. Know that feeling? There’s nothing actually wrong — in fact, besides a scratchy throat that makes me sound at turns like Kathleen Turner, everything’s going quite well — but there’s something that I just can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s this last leg of winter gray or that I need a shot in the arm of get-out-of-town or learn-something-new excitement. Whatever it is, there it is. In fact, just saying it out loud feels like I’ve thrown the ballasts overboard. It’s out there now, hopefully sinking to the bottom of the dark oceanic depths from which it came. Now maybe something fabulous can come and take its place.

This isn’t the kind of psychic ennui that can be undone with a fantastic dinner, but if it were, this recipe would be the cure. I’m filing this one away in the “quick and easy but in line with my fantasy vision of myself” folder. I have always thought of the recipes in How to Cook Everything as little more than utilitarian; this, however, is simple but otherworldly. You pop the sliced potatoes and onions in the oven with nothing more than a bit of olive oil, turning them every 10 minutes until the onions turn languorous and the potatoes become golden and crisp in patches. They you lay the fish on top, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the fillets, and in 8-12 more minutes you have a supper that is wonderously simple but perfect in every way: lush with flavor, and easy but refined, like a woman with a very expensive haircut who wears it in a just-rolled-out-of-bed sort of fashion.


Roast Cod with Potatoes and Onions
adapted from How to Cook Everything
Serves 2

2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1 1/2 pounds creamy, gold-fleshed potatoes (such as Yukon Gold)
1 cup sliced onions (about 1 large onion)
2 6-ounce cod fillets

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Pour 2 tablespoon olive oil into a baking dish. Place the dish in the oven while it preheats to heat the olive oil. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and slice them about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick. Remove the pan from the oven, and stir potatoes and sliced onions into the oil. Return dish to oven. Every 10 minutes, turn the potatoes and onions with a spatula. When the potatoes are beginning to brown — after about 30 to 40 minutes — place the cod fillets on top and drizzle with remaining teaspoon oil. Roast the cod for 8-12 minutes. Cod is done when it is opaque throughout and offers no resistance to a thin-bladed knife.

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  • Adrienne: That might be one of my favorite metaphors you’ve ever used. And now I want a haircut.5 years ago

  • Sasa: ^You beat me to it! Ditto.5 years ago

  • Ha! Thanks, guys.5 years ago

  • Natasha: I have this cookbook but the recipe never popped out at me. Now that I’ve seen pictures though…

    Also, it just so happens that I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow. Might have to ask for the “just rolled out of bed” look. xo5 years ago

  • Alyson: Oh Honey, if it helps, we’re in the last week of Summer in Australia and I’ve got the ‘blah’s’ too. I’m drinking white wine, and my just rolled out of bed hairstyle makes me look kind of like Betty Rubble! But you make me smile, so it’s all good!5 years ago

  • Danielle: Winter blahs are never fun. What is is about human nature that makes us long for winter in the summer and summer in the winter? DARNED free will! :) Beautiful spring will be here before you know it and you’ll be out enjoying the blossoms on the trees in the blink of an eye!5 years ago

  • Ann: Can I just say I’ve been loving all your recipes lately? They’re pulling me out of my winter blahs :)5 years ago

  • Kerry Michaels: This sounds sound wonderful and healthy! I love new fish recipes.

    Hoping the warm weather is here soon so we can all beat the winter blahs!5 years ago

  • Carly: I made this this past Saturday, when winter made another showing and it was perfect and felt so decadent despite the ridiculous ease of it. I didn’t even peel the potatoes. We let it cook slowly while watching old episodes of How I Met Your Mother and then ate it with dark beer and were happy as could be.5 years ago

  • Carly, I agree this feels so decadent and yet…it’s really not! I just bought some striped bass to do it again. :)5 years ago

  • Leah: Sarah, I have to thank you for this recipe. I keep making it again and again (tonight, in fact!) and it always is the perfect meal that night. Spring, summer, winter blahs — always seems to be perfect.5 years ago

  • I could not agree more, Leah! I think this recipe is some kind of magic. But you would never guess it just from reading the ingredients. Something divine happens when potatoes and onions get together. Anyway, I am so glad you like it!5 years ago

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