Tuesday night and What’s for Dinner? Roasted Cod with Garlic Bread Crumbs

Hyper-local radish toasts, Roasted Fresh Atlantic Cod from Iceland (ok, not local, but sustainable) with homemade garlic bread crumbs, and green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. The radishes are the last of this summer’s – proud to say we grew them in our recently moved raised bed. I read somewhere that radishes are the EASIEST vegetable to grow. We have had 3 or 4 failed crops until now. Clearly, I should stick to the kitchen. The cod is from Whole Foods (along with the greens), and the bread crumbs I made a few weeks ago.

This post will contain a few tips and one quick and easy weeknight recipe.

Surprisingly good: Radish Toasts

Tip #1: Radish toasts (or crostini or bruschetta if you want to get fancy) are an easy to make hors d’ouevres or starter that appears much fancier than it is (that is, if you like spicy, crunchy radishes). Slice up some baguette and some breakfast radishes, put a generous daub of butter on one side of the baguette slice, place a few slices of radish on top and sprinkle with good sea salt. Rinse, repeat, indulge. Yum!

Tip #2: You are literally throwing money out the window if you buy breadcrumbs in the store. I have seen a small bag sold for $5 or $6 in the specialty foods shop. Next time you have a day old baguette or Italian bread, don’t toss it. Hold on to it for another day or two until it is completely dried out/stale. Once it feels like a baton, take it to a box grater and go to town. It will make a bit of a mess, but grate the baguette like you would a carrot and ta-da, you’ve got homemade bread crumbs you can store in a glass jar on the shelf for months. The important thing is to make sure there is no more moisture in the bread, otherwise you’ll have mushy, and eventually, moldy bread crumbs. You can also cube it and put it into the food processor to make bread crumbs (less muscle), or make croutons out of them for your salad or soup (more effort).

Tip #3: Easy weeknight recipe that’s healthy to boot:

Roasted Cod with Homemade Garlic Bread Crumbs

  • 2 cod (or other dense white fish) fillets, about 6-8 ounces each
  • 1/2 cup homemade bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • few sprigs parsley, chopped (or other fresh herb)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon slices (for garnish)


Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in small pan over low-medium heat. Once heated, add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, but don’t burn it. Add bread crumbs, salt and pepper and any other spices you’d like. Sautee for 5-6 minutes until bread crumbs are toasted evenly, but again, be careful not to burn (apparently, I do this frequently). Add parsley and mix, set aside.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place cod on a baking dish and drizzle remaining olive oil on fillets, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven. Turn 1/4 after 2 minutes, and repeat until last side is reached. Then remove baking dish and spoon bread crumbs on top. Bake cod for another 2 minutes, checking to ensure that bread crumbs are browning, not burning. Remove from oven and place on plate. Garnish with lemon, if desired, and more parsley.

Next up: Community Supported Fishing?

As you know, I am a huge fan of Community Supported Agriculture  programs (CSAs), and the state of Maine.  I’ve been reading a lot about variations on the CSA theme. Yesterday, the NY Times published an article about weekly pick-up programs for fresh fish that truly help sustain fishing villages. Patricia Leigh Brown writes about Port Clyde Fresh Catch, started a few years ago by fisherman Glen Libby in Port Clyde, Maine (clearly a story after my own heart).

Port Clyde, Maine

In an effort to protect over-fished populations, many government regulations  have hurt the commercial fishing industry.  Mr. Libby came up with the idea to sell directly to consumers on a subscription basis to help pull his community together.  Mr. Libby’s idea was to turn the business on its head and sell a “mixed bag” directly to consumers, just like CSAs, instead of via wholesalers. The beauty of it is that the fisherman can catch local fish that are sustainable, not just the high-demand fish like cod, haddock, etc.  The bonus for consumers is that they’ll be introduced to new fish and seafood, much like I am confronted with never-prepared vegetables before from my CSA, AND will consume responsibly caught fish. More opportunity to experiment and learn for the home cook – all in a way that helps the local community and our maritime friends. Win-win.

Happy reading.

Hot Town, Summer in the City: Dinner Out @ Jeffrey’s Grocery

While Dan’s been keeping it real and hyper-local, Hubs and I have been letting the others do the dirty work for us. On a sultry summer night, we hit a West Village hot spot called Jeffrey’s Grocery for dinner.  And when I say hot spot, I am not only referring to desirability, but also the temperature. The restaurant has an open kitchen which is great for the curious diner, but it doesn’t help you dry  on a hot summer’s night. The restaurant’s on a cute corner in a historic building, and you almost feel bad for the struggling AC. Jeffrey’s Grocery is a sister restaurant to Joseph Leonard’s, Fedora and Perla. Media darling owner Gabriel Stulman is a lover of all things local, sustainable and hip.

Sitting at the corner of the bar with 2 friends, we started our meal with oysters on the half shell and the Coho Wild Salmon appetizer. Our bartender and waiter had the obligatory pencil-thin mustache and an easy smile. He insisted on the Salmon appetizer, which was good, but not a stand out. I also had a glass of rose’ cava served in an old school champagne glass.

From “Sometimes I Crave” – Jonah Crab Salad

For our entrees, we had roast chicken, Jonah crab salad, pork loin and an outstanding side dish – Roasted Creamed Corn. Let me tell you about this Creamed Corn – it was awesome. It was creamy and rich and crunchy all at the same time. The chef topped it with popcorn. Nice touch, I thought.  Thank you to blogger Yijia for taking the photo above last month. Check out Yijia’s review of Jeffrey’s Grocery here.

Dinner was good, with a festive ambiance and tasty flavors. Definitely worth a return visit in the fall when the mercury drops.