Well, I feel like I had avoided the Scandinavian challenge long enough. I mean, cookies were really no big deal. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to cooking after a long day, and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to eating what I had in store. Even though it didn’t sound bad, it didn’t fit my mood. What I really wanted was more of that delicious lamb, but there was none left. What I was stuck with is roasted Cod with Pickled Beets. However, I had to eat, and I felt even less like eating eggs, the only other option in my house tonight. So, I put on my apron, turned up the Michael Bublé (I love cooking to Michael Bublé! Something very…relaxing and romantic about his Sinatra-esque droll that makes me feel like cooking). Before long, my sauce was bubbling, the fish was in the oven and I was Feeling Good.
Scandinavians like to pickle things. Fish, fruits. Beets. Appetizing, right? Fish is pretty popular, and a lot of the dishes I found called for whitefish. In Scandinavia, lutefisk seems to be a favorite, but not surprisingly, a rare find in Chicago. Alternatively, I settled for a mixture of both cod and swai. If you’ve never had swai, it’s very delicate white fish, almost like a sweeter version of tilapia. If you ever see it in your grocery case, don’t be afraid- check it out.
The whole shebang took about 25 minutes. The sauce finished cooking up just as the oven was done preheating and the cooking the potatoes on the stove beforehand meant they just needed about 20 minutes in the oven to crisp up. The result was surprisingly delicious: sweet and salty, light and flaky and something that I’d totally make again. Really!
- 2 slices stale whole-wheat bread
- extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
- 2 finely chopped shallot
- juice of one lemon juice
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 TB capers
- 1 pound white fish
- 8 ounces sliced pickled beets, drained and diced
- salt and pepper
- parsley for garnish
- Roasted potatoes as an accompaniment
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- To make breadcrumbs, toast the bread and grate through the large holes of a box grater
- Heat the remaining oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, it should quickly start boiling. Stirring gently, remove from the heat and add butter. Letting the butter melt and stir in capers.
- Put the fish in the prepared baking dish. Pour the pan sauce over the fish and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
- Bake the fish until it is opaque in the center, about 17 minutes. Top each portion topped with about 3 spoons of pickled beets and garnish with parsley.