Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cool rainy weather makes me want to turn on the oven, so instead of more baked goods (please, make them stop-- I have no willpower!) I thought I would make something for dinner that needed to be roasted. I had recently placed a recipe for Cod, Fennel, and Potato Casserole in my “to try” file and, before it sunk to the bottom never-neverland, I rescued it. For some reason, while grocery shopping, I had bought a large bulb of fennel. It probably reminded me of spring, but I really had no idea why I placed it in my basket. This recipe, posted by Jean on the Cuisine at Home bulletin board, seemed the perfect way to use the it.

I thin-sliced the potatoes and fennel with my 2mm slicing disc in the Cuisinart.
These were tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and baked for a half hour. Then the cod is seasoned, placed on top of the potato-fennel mixture and baked for another 15 minutes. Very easy. My cod shrunk a bit... ;) Roasting the fennel gave it a very nutty, sweet flavor which paired well with the roasted potatoes. Now I know why to buy fennel!

To accompany, I steamed broccoli, which I squeezed fresh lemon over, and tossed halved Roma tomatoes with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic, and s&p and roasted these in the oven with the main dish.

Cod, Potato, & Fennel Casserole

I almost decided against this dish 'cause it just sounded too blah...but, I'm so glad I didn't bypass it - it's simple and it's just delicious!!

I made the whole recipe, but just put two smallish cod fillets on top. Now, I have this wonderful potato mixture to play with for brunch this morning. The thickness of my filets took an extra 4-5 min. to get it to 140 F. and it was just perfect!


Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 1 hr

2 medium fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise; 1 1/2 lb total), stalks cut off and discarded, and fronds reserved for garnish if desired
1 1/2 lb large boiling potatoes
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb skinless cod fillet (1 inch thick), cut into 6 portions
Garnish: chopped fennel fronds or fresh flat-leaf parsley
Accompaniment: lemon wedges
Special equipment: a Japanese Benriner* or other adjustable-blade slicer; a 3-quart shallow baking dish (2 inches deep)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut fennel bulbs crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices with slicer. Peel potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices with slicer.

Transfer fennel and potatoes to baking dish and toss with garlic, salt, pepper, and 4 tablespoons oil. Spread vegetables evenly in dish and bake, covered with foil, in middle of oven until just tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Season fish with salt and pepper and arrange on top of vegetables. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and bake, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

Make 6 servings.

December 2002