Several Fridays ago, I had resigned myself to a fairly low key evening. It was the Friday before the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler and I wanted to rest up for the big race. That week, I had come across a recipe in the Washington Post’s food section for Cod with Tomato and Mushroom Wine Sauce that really caught my eye. As it was still Lent at the time, I was super excited to find a meatless and healthy meal that was tasty to boot. I e-mailed roommate Alex to let her know I would be making this for dinner in case she wanted to partake as well and she suggested I serve the fish with some quinoa we had in the apartment. What started out as a healthy Friday dinner turned into a very healthy Friday dinner.
I have always enjoyed a good mushroom and wine sauce, and there is even one I pair with chicken thighs. The addition of tomatoes gave the sauce more depth and texture. As for the fish, the mildness of the cod really lent itself well to the tomato and mushroom wine sauce. The sauce didn’t overwhelm the fish and vice versa. With many ingredients, the dish might sound complicated but overall was really easy to put together. To complete a funfilled Friday night, Emily stopped by after getting her bangs trimmed and ended up staying for dinner. Along with roommate Alex, we opened a bottle of wine, ate dinner, and settled onto the couch to watch Crazy, Stupid Love a not completely terrible romcom.
Cod With Tomato and Mushroom Wine Sauce (from the Washington Post)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
4 4-ounce skinless cod fillets, preferably about 1 inch thick
Freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
12 ounces plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (may substitute canned chopped tomatoes)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth (may substitute vegetable broth or fish stock)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon parsley (for garnish)
For the fish: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet or shallow baking dish with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick cooking oil spray.
Heat the oil in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Place the flour on a small plate. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the plate of flour and turn to coat them on all sides. Transfer the fillets to the skillet or saute pan, skinned side up. Do this in two batches if necessary so as not to crowd the fillets. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the cod has browned lightly. Turn the pieces over and cook for 1 minute. Transfer them to the baking sheet or dish. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through.
For the sauce: As soon as the fish goes into the oven, add the oil to the same skillet or saute pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, then season with salt to taste; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until the onion begins to soften. Add the mushrooms; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms are cooked through and have started to brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, broth and sugar, and season with pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Transfer the fish to individual rimmed serving plates or wide, shallow soup bowls. Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with the parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.