I don’t know about you but since this pandemic started, I have been doing a lot more cooking. Prior to that, my wife and I had settled into a fairly nice post-retirement routine of eating out three to four times a week. But when the Safer-at-Home order went into effect closing many restaurants and restricting them to carry-out only, that comfortable routine ended. And even though restrictions have been loosened and some restaurants have reopened their inside dining rooms, we have not returned. In fact, it has been almost six months since I even dined inside a restaurant.
There is one local restaurant that we have continued to pick up take out, my favorite burger place, and the person there at the restaurant now knows my name and my regular Wednesday night order.
It is not often I blog about food or cooking, and it has been over a year since I even wrote about cooking, when I described my transition from pre- to post-retirement cooking. There are a huge number of great cooking websites out there and this pandemic has helped me to discover a few more. But what I wanted to mainly share in this post is a couple of the really great recipes I have found.
As my wife and I got older, we tried to increase the number of healthy dishes in our diet and fish was one of those foods we added. Pre-retirement, the main fish dish I cooked was grilled salmon on a cedar plank, using several different rubs or marinades.
Cod is another fish readily available in our area and so I explored and found a delicious Greek cod recipe. When I find a promising recipe, I typically print it out because I hate having to continuously unlock my computer screen or iPad to read the next step or ingredient quantity. If it turns out a bust, I just throw the paper away.
You can tell by the condition of this printed version that it has become a go-to recipe for us (recipe link here).
It is a fairly simple and quick recipe using many common ingredients. I have learned from the numerous times that I have cooked this that it works best with thick pieces of cod rather than thin pieces.
When you take the iron skillet out of the oven, you can often see the fish flaking on its own and when you bite into it, you’ll experience a delicious blend of flavors.
I have shared this recipe with my kids and a real treat was on one trip to visit my daughter and her family in Seattle, I was able to cook it with huge freshly caught pieces of cod. It was a hit there too!
Depending on where you live, this next recipe might be more difficult to try as it requires a fish caught in the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, I have only been able to get it in Memphis from an individual who drives here from the gulf coast every weekend and sells it out of the back of his trailer along with a number of other varieties of gulf coast seafood.
The fish is Redfish or Red Drum which is a game fish caught from Massachusetts to Mexico. I first bought this fish by accident thinking I was buying red snapper. What a fortunate mistake it turned out to be.
I looked up a couple of recipes before settling on this one.
I might have selected it because it was so simple. The first time I cooked it, I knew it was a keeper.
When I cut into it with my fork, the fish flaked away in chunks like the meat you pull from a snow crab claw. When I put it in my mouth, it was absolutely delicious. There may be other fish out there with this same type of texture, but I haven’t run across one yet.
The only change I made to this simple recipe was I used Spanish smoked paprika. I have never tried it with any other paprika, so I don’t know if it makes a difference. But then again, once you have hit on a great combination of flavors, why change it.
If you are like me, doing much home cooking now and are looking for some new dishes to expand your palate, these are two fish dishes that I can highly recommend you trying.