Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Wine-Steamed Cod and Asparagus

If you don’t do much steaming—in a good way—give it a try. There’s really no other preparation as light and healthful, unless dinner is all raw vegetables and fruit. Sometimes steamed food gets a bad rap because we associate it with blandness. That’s just not true, I promise.

Steaming food over a gentle simmer brings out the pure, simple, natural flavors of whatever you’re cooking. That goes for fish, poultry, vegetables, and aromatic herbs—in this case, tender Atlantic cod, fresh asparagus, and wonderfully fragrant ginger, garlic, and dried chile flakes. I used dry white wine and chicken broth for the steaming liquid. Other options: sherry, vegetable broth, water, or a mixture.

Dinner doesn’t get much simpler—all done in one pot, and every ingredient bringing its best taste to the table. Did I mention no fats involved?

Serves 2

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, halved lengthwise, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1-1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled cut into very thin matchsticks
  • 2 5-oz skinless cod filets, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 6 oz 5-inch-long asparagus stalks
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, dark green parts set aside
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cod Filets

Prepared Ingredients
  1. Combine the garlic, chile flakes, wine, and broth in a pot that will hold a wide steamer basket. Bring to a light simmer over medium heat.
  2. Place the steamer basket in the pot and scatter the ginger on the bottom. Add the cod on top and arrange the asparagus and white and light green parts of the scallions around and on top of the fish. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the pot and steam until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the cod is just cooked through, about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets.
  4. Transfer the steamer basket to a plate and cover with the lid to keep warm. Bring the liquid in the pot to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, 5 minutes.

Liquid Mixture 
Ready to Steam
After Steaming
Divide the fish and vegetables between 2 plates. Spoon some of the liquid from the pot over all and scatter the green parts of the scallions on top. Serve right away.

Wine-Steamed Cod and Asparagus

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