January 13, 2011

Baked Cod

Before our two and a half week Christmas vacation I had the best of intentions to photograph our time in Ohio and also the Pittsburgh area. I was most excited for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a town that excites me for a number of reasons and the number one reason is my love of being surrounded by people who share a common interest... mine and Mr. Sideline Chef's beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. Being surrounded by a vast number of people in black and gold and seeing Heinz Field makes me giddy.

Being back here in Houston, Texas makes me miss Ohio and Pittsburgh. I'm not originally from the area like Mr. Sideline Chef is but my love for the area came about when he took me to meet his family and show me where he grew up our first Christmas together 4 years ago. We daydream about living back in Ohio one day and being close enough to Pittsburgh to go to games with his dad who is a season ticket holder, walk the markets, and be among our "people" while enjoying the sights, food, and football.

While on vacation Mr. Sideline Chef's dad was our tour guide for the Strip District in Pittsburgh. He took us on the Fort Duquesne Incline (the highlight of itty bitty's day) before taking us through the Public Market, Wholey's, and Primanti Brothers. We did Wholey's and Primanti Brothers on two separate days because his dad didn't think we could handle a sandwich such as "The Whaler" and my pick at Primanti Brothers, the angus with an egg and bacon all in one day. I polished my sandwich off and picked every crumb off of my parchment paper. I'm little but my appetite is big. I think it ended up being a good call on his dad's part to break it up into two days so I had something to look forward to the next day.

Quick side note about Primanti Brothers... Mr. Sideline Chef's dad is shown on the Travel Channel's, Sandwich Paradise, taking a big bite out of his sandwich from their establishment. You can check out his picture HERE... we like to joke about him being "a big deal" there because he's number one!

One of my favorite Christmas gifts!!! 
When walking the markets I did something I normally don't do. I sampled everything I possibly could. At one vendor they sold nothing but olive oil and vinegar and when I started to notice the looks of disgust and feel the olive oil and vinegar dripping down my elbows I figured it was time to either move along or purchase something in order to pay back what I owed them for what I just ate. I walked away with two bottles of olive oil. One was infused with chipotle (that was recently used in the Chipotle Spiced Macaroni and Cheese) and the other one was infused with lime. Marinated grilled shrimp were dancing in my mind for this one.

Since the weather is too cold to ask Mr. Sideline Chef to fire up the grill the cooking has been selective to indoor methods. I had a couple pounds of cod that needed to be cooked and chose to bake it with an Italian breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese topping with an olive oil drizzle.

The topping became crunchy and the flavor of the lime infused olive oil went well with the cod and the salt in the cheese. I was giddy to be able to use my bottle of olive oil but then reality set in that once it was opened it would soon be gone until I make it to the market next year. I'm already looking forward to purchasing the chocolate balsamic vinegar and tangerine olive oil. And the, and the, and the... might just stock up on all of them.

Baked Cod
Makes 4 Servings (Serving size = 4 oz fillet)

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 lb cod fillets
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil - If you have a citrus infused olive oil I recommend using it. If not, then slice some lime or lemon wedges and squeeze over the baked cod.
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
And Action:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and the next 5 ingredients (through the black pepper). In a shallow dish add the egg white. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Dip each fillet in the egg white and then placed on the baking sheet. Spoon the breadcrumb mixture over the top of each fillet. Bake for 10-15 minutes.


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