Monday, January 10, 2011

Cod & Mussels!

I love planning out my meals in advance. The truth is that planning ahead saves you money.  I always check out the circulars before making my list or before perusing recipes online and in magazines.  This week I noticed Wild Caught Cod was on Sale at Shaws so I based my grocery list on that ingredient and planned meals using Cod.  Because I'm looking to make more healthful recipes in 2011 but I also want them to taste delicious, I turned first to Cara's blog at Cara's Cravings.  I went straight to her Seafood list on her recipe index and found a recipe I was excited to try: Avocado Baked Mahi.  Only I substituted Cod instead.
I can't say enough about this dish... combining avocado, Worcestershire sauce, ginger and Greek yogurt for the base and then adding diced tomatoes and onions on top made this meal really stand out.  Doubling the greens with Kale Chips and Salad made it even more delicious.

Avocado Baked Cod
Adapted from Caribbean Light and Cara's Cravings
1 avocado, pureed
3 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt 

1 tbsp minced scallion, green part only
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
dash of freshly ground salt
3 Cod filets

1/2 of a medium tomato, diced
1/2 of a red onion, diced
coarsely ground black pepper

Blend together in your food processor the avocado, yogurt, scallion, garlic, Worcestershire, ginger, and salt. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an oven-safe skillet or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the fish in the pan, and spread about half of the avocado mixture on top of each. 
Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. 
Warm the remaining avocado mixture gently in the microwave. When ready to serve the fish, top with the diced tomatoes and red onions and drizzle the warm avocado mixture over. Sprinkle with black pepper.

As I mentioned, I made a salad to go along side.  And for dressing, I made my favorite- Honey Mustard Lemon Vinagrette. So simple!
All you need is:
3 Lemons Squeezed using my handy Citrus Press (thanks Gretchen), 1 spoonful of honey mustard (or one tablespoon of Dijon with a squeeze of honey), 2 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar, 1/4-1/2 Cup of EVOO, Salt and Pepper.
Then Squeeze your lemons, like below
 and add the rest of ingredients (except the EVOO).  Slowly wisk in in the oil and thats it.  Dressing done in a flash : )
 Easy peasy delicious dressing!

Sunday, I got to work on two dishes simultaneously: Thai Bouillabase and Mussels Marinara.  But first, I had to debeard the mussels... have you done this before?  I usually leave this to the hubby, but since he was at the gym, I had to do it.  It wasn't hard and most of the mussels didn't have the "beard".  All you do is find where the two shells meet and you'll see a little 'tag' of what looks like threads of brown seaweed. This is the mussel's "beard".
"The beards on some of the mussels may have been removed during processing, so it's ok if you don't find one on every mussel. Pinch the beard between your thumb and first finger. Use a side to side motion and firmly tug the beard out. 
This can feel a bit like a game of tug-of-war between you and the mussel! The beard isn't harmful or inedible (just not particularly desirable to our taste buds), so don't fret if there are a few little threads left that you can't grasp. With a bit of practice, cleaning and debearding a few pounds of mussels should only take about 15 minutes of your prep time." (source)
After you have your debearded mussles, it's time to get cooking!! I made two dishes mainly because I had so many mussels!  First up Thai Bouillaibaise.
 For the Thai Bouillabaisse, I combined two recipes I liked- one from Eating Well and another from Cooking Light.
1  cup  chopped celery, divided
1  cup  chopped onion, divided
1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
1-2 small chile peppers, such as serranos or jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced
1  tablespoon  minced fresh garlic
2  teaspoon  red curry paste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1  (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used College Inns White Wine and Herb- wanted to use Thai Coconut Curry Broth but couldn't find it)
 1  (6-ounce) skinned cod fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces dry sea scallops (I used small ones)
12  mussels, scrubbed and debearded
10 large shiitake mushrooms caps, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 Cup of parsley (optional) 

Heat oil in a large heavy stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, celery, garlic, ginger, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper and cook, stirring, until very soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add flour; stir well to combine. Add chicken broth and coconut milk and red curry paste (I love the heat of curry paste so I always add more). Bring to a simmer; reduce heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes-20 minutes. Carefully submerge fish, scallops, mussels and mushrooms in the broth. Return to a gentle simmer and cook until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes or until the mussels open up. Remove the pot from the heat and add in parsley.

 The spicyness of the curry paste balanced with the coconut milk and the wine broth is amazing.  I cannot say enough about this soup.  Plus I love mussels, scallops and cod and I felt like every mouthful was a taste of something better than the last!!  Loved this soup!!

And because we had SO many mussels, I also made my husbands favorite- Mussels Marinara.
Mussels Marinara
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 cup white wine
1 can of Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley leaves
20 fresh mussels, debearded, scrubbed and rinsed
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until cooked. Add the wine and reduce it by half, then add the tomatoes, and parsley. Add the mussels to the pan...
 and allow to cook for about 10 minutes until all the mussels are open. Transfer mussels to a platter. (Discard any mussels that do not open.)

Hope you enjoy these fun, easy, flavorful recipes!
Have you debearded mussels before?  Made them at home?


  1. Those mussels look awesome! I never make shellfish at home because my fiance is allergic, but I would love to try those!

  2. Mussels look DEELICIOUS! Love the Thai one; that's one of my favorite ways to eat them. I'm so jealous of you - I'm scared of the mussels (and their beards)Will you come over and make them for me? Ok, thanks....

  3. You make amazing dinners! Your man is very lucky.

  4. I'm impressed! I've always been scared to make mussels at home for some reason.

  5. I used to love waiting for Shaw's new circular to come out when I lived in Boston. I think it came out Thursday night and i would spend the whole rest of the evening planning my menu for the next week. It was almost like Christmas.

    Love the sound of this dish! That avocado on top is just the sort of thing i'd love.

  6. Loving all this seafood! We made mussels a few times as an appetizer recently and I seriously love how they come out (I should be posting this recipe soon!) I need to get them on our dinner menu, pronto. Love the thai boullibase idea. And thanks for the shout out, as always!

  7. I've never made mussels (or clams!) should i add those to my repertior with my new years cooking resolution? these dishes are just brilliant. nice job.

  8. COD is my favorite fish ever....I will be stealing this recipe...thank you!!! YOU are so good at planning your meals ahead and you are my inspiration, we need to save money on food. Amazing recipes as always. Have a great day!

  9. I'm debearded mussels and have made them at home a few times. It actually surprises me every time how cheap and easy mussels are (WF always has a bag for under $5). I should add that to my list for next week!!

  10. Both of these dishes look amazing! I've never debearded mussels before, but I've observed others do it at-home, and it doesn't seem too intimidating!

  11. Oh my gosh I LOVE both dishes. I was just telling a foodie co-worker of mine that I have yet to cook mussels but I'm dying to. If I can find them I will go for it!

  12. Where do you get your mussels at? These look delicious!!

    Happy Wednesday Darling! xo