Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chilled Cajun Cod Nicoise Salad

Thus begins part two of our "It is hotter than Hades" food series. :) Today was so hot and humid I would have gladly spent part of it locked in a freezer. I hate cooking on days like this, but we've gotta eat. Since I also did not feel like getting in the car that has no air conditioning in order to go to the grocery store, I also had to play "let's experiment with weird random stuff in the fridge/freezer." Thus, I give you "Chilled Cajun Cod Nicoise Salad" which bears no real resemblance to Nicoise except for the green beans (which started off purple--see below).

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
  • 2.5. filets cod or other flaky fish (I used frozen cod, but fresh would be better!)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • purple green beans (incidentally, purple beans just turn green when you cook 'em, so don't bother unless you plan on eating them raw)
  • red-leaf lettuce
  • cajun spice (I used Penzey's, but you could also make your own)
  • salt (enough for a rub--1 tsp should do it)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (can substitute olive oil)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of half lemon
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • white pepper
  • rub both sides of cod filets with kosher salt and cajun seasoning (to taste) and set aside
  • blanch purple green beans, being sure to transfer them to an ice water bath
  • slice granny smith apple into thin slices
  • once green beans are cool, put in a plastic container along with the apple slices
  • drizzle lemon juice, champagne vinegar, olive oil and white pepper over the apple/bean mixture (I like to use a plastic container with a lid and then just shake it up to coat everything).
  • refrigerate apple/bean mixture
  • heat butter in frying pan over medium heat
  • pan fry each side of the filets for approx 2 minutes, setting in the spices
  • pour fresh lime juice over the filets, cover pan, and poach for approx. 5 min over low heat (add water if necessary)--Cooking time may be less for fresh cod
  • when cooked (it should flake apart), drain cod, and put in a container for refrigeration and chill for approx. 1 hr
  • when ready to serve, wash and tear red leaf lettuce and place on plates. Arrange apples, beans and cod in a design of your liking, pour residual dressing from the apple/bean mixture over entire salad.
  • SERVE!