Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Week 3: Panko-Sage Cod and Quinoa Pilaf

Panko-Sage Cod, with Quinoa Pilaf and marinated radishes.

Sage is an herb that I strongly associate with autumn flavors (squash, pumpkin, Thanksgiving turkey) so I was momentarily stumped when it appeared in this week's share. The Programmer, ever helpful, suggested that I seek some sage advice (yes, you can groan), but in the end I found inspiration in my own recipe files.

I make variations of cod-and-crumbs all the time; sage -- which complements fish as well as roasted meats or poultry -- was a nice change from the oregano or basil that I typically use. I worked the rest of the sage into a quinoa pilaf and a spinach quiche, using up CSA zucchini and spinach, respectively.

As for the rest of this week's share, we're keeping up with the lettuce (plenty of salad); made marinated radishes; and made a pot of vegetarian chili with a second CSA zucchini. I've also been experimenting with honeydew and CSA mint.

Panko-Sage Cod
(Original recipe)

1.25 lbs boneless, skinless cod fillet
About 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped sage leaves
1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil (optional; it aids clean-up) and lightly spray the foil with non-fat cooking spray. Lay the fish on the baking sheet. If the tail end is very thin, turn it under itself so the fillet is of an even thickness. Spread a light coating of mayonnaise over the fillet.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Lightly saute the sage for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the panko to the skillet and stir to combine with the sage and oil. Season the mixture to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Spoon the crumbs over the fish, pressing lightly into the mayonnaise so the crumbs adhere. Depending on the size of your fillet, you may have crumbs left over. Bake the fish for about 15 minutes, or until it is cooked through; the flesh should appear opaque when done. Serves 3 to 4.

Quinoa Pilaf
(Original recipe)

2 cups water (or broth)
1/4 tsp salt (omit if using broth)
1 cup red quinoa
1 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped sage leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sliced brown mushrooms (cremini or baby portobello)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1.5 cups)

Bring water and salt (or broth) to a boil. Add quinoa, lower heat and cook, covered, 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onions and saute about 5 minutes, or until they soften and begin to brown. Add sage leaves. Cook 2 minutes more, or until the leaves crisp a bit. Remove mixture from skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms and zucchini until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Mix the vegetables into the quinoa and serve hot. The pilaf is also good the next day, with a bit of feta cheese mixed in.

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