The Weekly Whisk - 9/29/20

Musings from a foodie…

Boy – did I get a bunch of emails from readers about NOT having a restaurant or recipe noted in my last blog!! I’ll never do that again. One of the problems I’ve had is that historically because I traveled every week, I was able to highlight a new restaurant for every blog. Well, I’ve covered most of the restaurants in and around Kittery, Maine (a more limited selection, I might add) which has made the task more difficult. But this is really an important issue because after all is said and done – this section of the blog is the one that is read by most everyone…most of the time J . So, it became apparent that I really need to start minding my P’s and Q’s with a better focus on food – especially during the stress of the pandemic and these Covid-makes-us-stay-at-home-by-the-hearth times…

It is with great fanfare that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND [should be a double underline: * * * * *] trying this very easy and ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL dinner ensemble – Fennel-Crusted Cod with Black Frijoles and Eggplant.  The recipe is incredibly easy and a people pleaser to boot. So, start by cutting a small eggplant into ½ inch cubes (no need to peel it). Set aside. Cut a medium fennel bulb into thin slices (¼ inch or less). Set aside. Take a pint or so of cherry tomatoes – preferably ones you’ve grown because the flavor will be so much better. Cut them in half. Set aside. Fry the eggplant in olive oil until the surfaces are just browned a touch. Remove and set aside again.

Then, take 3 tsp of fennel seed and sauté over medium heat until darkened and fragrant. Let cool. Divide into 1 tsp (A) and 2 tsp (B) portions and set the latter aside. Then, to portion A add Italian seasoning or (preferably) Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic to taste plus 4 diced garlic cloves and 1½ tsp of dried thyme. Set aside. Sauté the eggplant for about 6+ minutes, then add the sliced fennel for another 2 – 3 minutes, then combine with two cans of black frijoles. Set on simmer. Take 1½ - 2 pounds of fresh cod, pat dry and rub with portion B on one side. Prepare a sauté pan and fry the fish spiced side down (4 minutes). Sprinkle the other side with the Italian seasoning or Prudhomme’s. Flip the fish and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Serve the eggplant, fennel, and beans mixture into large flat bowl and top with fried fish. Oh la la! You’re gonna love it – I promise!! And the calorie count is far less than 500-550. Prep time – 20 minutes. Cook time – 15 minutes. ENJOY!

PS – I’ve already got another one for next time!!

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