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spanish cod
Bacalao a la Marinera (Fisherman's Cod)

carrot rice gratin
Carrot and Rice Gratin

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 29, 2013: Day 1 Recipes

Bacalao a la Marinera (Fisherman's Cod)
Carrot and Rice Gratin

Cooking time:  55 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      This is an easy dinner for a (possibly) hectic Friday.

Bacalao a la Marinera (Fisherman's Cod)      Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
This is a Spanish dish that would, traditionally, be made with dried, salted cod.  I used fresh.  In Spain you can buy the bacalao dry as a board or already reconstituted and rinsed.  You can substitute any white fish: tilapia, snapper, mahi mahi;  adjust cooking times slightly, according to thickness.

12oz (360gr) cod filets or other white fish, fresh or frozen and thawed
1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes, drained    reserve juices for another use
1/3 cup (3oz, 85ml) white wine
2 bay (laurel) leaves
2 tbs dry bread crumbs

Finely chop the onion and garlic.  Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and sauté until tender.  Drain tomatoes, reserving juice for another use.  Roughly chop the tomatoes.  Add to pan along with white wine and bay leaves.  Bring to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until thickened.  Remove bay leaves and stir in bread crumbs. 
Place fish in baking dish just large enough to hold it in one layer.  Spoon the sauce over, sprinkle with almonds and cover either with a lid or foil.  Bake at 400F (200C) for about 15 minutes, or until fish is done.  Uncover for the last 5 minutes of baking time.  Fish flakes easily when done.  (If you have pieces more than 1" (2.5cm) thick it may take 20 minutes.)
Remove fish from dish, place on a small platter and serve.

Carrot and Rice Gratin                                          Preparation and cooking time:   55 minutes
     This is somewhere between a soufflé and a pudding.  The carrots retain their texture and add a slightly sweet flavor to the rice.

1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
2 medium carrots
1 cup (8oz, 240ml) milk
2 eggs
1 tbs chives, fresh or dried
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) Greek or plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
1/2 tbs olive oil

Cook rice in chicken stock. 
Peel carrots.  Shred carrots using medium holes on the box shredder.  Lightly whisk eggs.  Add milk, yogurt and herbs, whisk to combine. 
Lightly oil a glass baking dish (1 qt, 1 litre).
When rice is done, stir in the carrots and let sit for a minute to cool slightly.  Add the rice and carrots to the eggs along with half of the cheese.   Spoon carrot / rice mixture into dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, 400F (200C) for 30 minutes.  Remove and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 55 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small saucepan with lid, medium skillet, 2 baking
dishes, lid or foil, medium bowl, whisk, grater
Turn oven on 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Cook rice
Peel, shred carrots
Wash, dry fish, put in baking dish
Chop onion, mince garlic, sauté
Lightly oil baking dish for gratin
Whisk eggs
Whisk in milk, herbs, yogurt
    Wait for rice

Rice done? Combine with carrots, stir well
Add rice/carrot to egg mixture
Add half of the cheese, stir well
Spoon into baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, bake
Chop tomatoes, add to onion with wine, bay, simmer
     10 minute break
Remove bay leaf, add crumbs to tomato
Spoon tomato over fish, top with almonds, cover, bake
     Another 10 minute break
Remove gratin
Uncover fish
    Pause a minute to finish fish
Remove fish

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