Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vivian's Cod with Tomatoes and Herbs

When I was going to college in Illinois, my parent's friends took me in for all holidays as well as occasional family dinner nights. This was always a treat for me since Vivian, the lady of the house, is an excellent cook as well as great company. She made this dish at one of the many times I was invited over. I loved it and asked for the recipe. Vivian is the kind of cook that doesn't need a recipe, so she gave me the list of ingredients she uses (with no specific amounts) and the cooking process.

As it turns out, this recipe is really easy to make and really difficult to mess up. It's extremely healthy and flavorful, thanks to the spices and herbs. You can make this with any kind of white fish you want, as long as it doesn't fall apart too easily. I've tried it with tilapia before and that combination was just as good. Also, adjust the crushed red pepper amount to your liking. If you feel like the dish is drying out in the last 15 minutes of baking (this has never happened to me, but if you double the amount of fish without adding more sauce, it may occur), add a little bit of water to the dish. I've made this dish many times and it has always turned out great. This is a perfect, easy, weeknight dinner idea.

Serves 3 to 4

1 1/2 (can use up to 2 pounds with this sauce) pounds cod or tilapia filets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
1 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Line the bottom of a 9"x13" pyrex dish (preferably with a lid, otherwise foil works too) with the tomato slices. Prepare the fish by sprinkling both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes. Drizzle the oil over both sides of the fish. Lay the fish over the tomato slices. Top the fish with the garlic. Sprinkle the parsley and cilantro over the garlic. Pour the diced tomatoes evenly over the herbs. Pour the tomato sauce around the edges of the pyrex dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Pin It Now!

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