Friday, October 12, 2012

Red Cod with Xec (Maya Citrus Salsa)

I find fish for dinner to be sort of a funny middle ground in terms of effort - you've really got to hit the grocery that day if you want it to be fresh, but then actual preparation time is often minimal.  The grocery bit is probably why I don't end up making fish as often as I'd like to, but this recipe is absolutely good incentive.  The fish itself is prepared super simply - just cooked on the stovetop with salt and pepper.  You could use any flaky white fish here - snapper, cod, etc. and cook it up any way you prefer - it would also be tasty baked in the oven if you happen to be making a roasted veggie side dish.

The star of this dish is the citrus salsa - I used orange, lemon, and grapefruit, but the original Mark Bittman article says that any combo you have on hand will be tasty.  It's spiced up with some seriously spicy habanero - be careful here, and use more or less depending on your spice tolerance.  The tart citrus and herby cilantro goes perfectly with the fish - a super easy and tasty dinner.  Definitely serve this with a big scoop of white rice.

Red Cod with Xec (Maya Citrus Salsa) (adapted from the New York Times)
Serves 4

1 orange
1 grapefruit
1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 to 1/2 habanero chili, seeded and minced
4 red cod fillets (or sub in snapper, regular cod, etc.)

1. Supreme the orange, grapefruit, and lemon, catching the juice in a bowl.  Add the sections of fruit to the bowl with the fruit.  Add the cilantro, chili, and generous pinch of salt.  Use more or less habanero depending on your tolerance for spicy food.  Mix to combine and let sit while you prepare the fish.
2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat (you may need two skillets or you may need to work in batches).  Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet.  Once the oil is shimmering, add the cod.  Cook it 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, or until the fish flakes easily and is opaque in the center.
3. Serve the fish with the citrus salsa.