Grilled Cod Lettuce Wraps with a Corn and Farro Salad and Pickled Cumcumbers

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Tonight was a home version of Dinner Impossible: veggies and a grain searching for a meal. I had tomatillos that I bought at the farmers’ market this weekend. I knew that I was going to make Salsa Verde, but not on what I would put it. I had Farro in the frig from the last Farro salad I made. When cooking grains, I always cook twice as much as I need so I have some in the frig that I can quickly grab. I had an ear of grilled corn left over from Sunday dinner. I had a store bought cucumber which I want to get rid of since the ones in my garden are ready to pick. My mission: what to make for dinner? Or maybe it was a home version of Chopped. One bad meal and you,re cut from the kitchen. Luckily, I also have a Wegmans as my pantry.

The winning answer tonight was Grilled Cod Lettuce Wraps with a Corn and Farro Salad and Pickled Cucumbers. There is a little prep work to do on this one, but beyond that, the meal is quick and easy. I spiced my Cod with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic before grilling. You can add whatever spices you prefer. I find it hard to beat Chef Paul’s spice blends for Seafood or Steak.

You might note that there is no oil in this recipe. The only oil used was on the grill grates to prevent sticking. I also used lime throughout. You could use lemon. My wife is allergic to lemon so lime is used consistently.

Dinner Tonight

Grilled Cod Lettuce Wraps

1 Head Boston Bib lettuce
2 Cod Fillets
Red Cabbage Slaw, see below
Salsa Verde, see below

1) Prepare grill for indirect cooking.
2) Grill Cod for 15 minutes or until translucent.
3) Place some grilled Cod on top of a piece of Lettuce, top with Red Cabbage Slaw and Salsa Verde. Roll and eat.

Red Cabbage Slaw:

2 cups Red Cabbage, shredded thinly
3 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tsb Kosher Salt
Fresh ground Pepper, to taste

1) Combine first three ingredients.
2) Add fresh ground pepper, to taste
3) Refrigerate until use.

Salsa Verde

4 Medium Tomatillos, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 cup of Red onion, chopped
2 Tbs Cilantro
2 Serrano Peppers
Zest and Juice of one Lime
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1) Place first six ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
2) Add Salt and Pepper, to taste.
3) Refrigerate until use.

My Sides, Corn and Farro Salad and Pickled Cucumbers

Farro Salad

Corn and Farro Salad

1/2 cup of cooked Farro
1 ear of grilled corn, stripped
2 Tbs Red Onions, chopped
2 tsps Cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 Lime
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1) Combine first five ingredients.
2) Add Salt and Pepper, to taste.
3) Refrigerate until use.

Cumcumber Salad

Pickled Cucumbers

1 Cucumber, sliced
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbs Cracked Black Pepper

1) Place slices of Cucumber on serving place.
2) Sprinkle with Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper.
3) Sprinkle with Red Wine Vinegar.
4) Refrigerate until use.

Most of the prep can be done in advance and all you will have left to do before servings is grill the Cod and set the table. Simple. healthy and delicious. Enjoy!


Grilled Orange Haddock

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Grilled Orange Haddock

For the last couple of days the weather in the NorthEast has been exceedingly hot for this time of year. I was looking for something simple and light for dinner that did not require turning on the range. I had haddock in the freezer and started thinking citrus. Grilled Orange Haddock fit the bill.

I used Grape Seed Oil since it is light and neutral tasting. I wanted to taste the citrus, not the oil. Rosemary and Thyme were fresh cut from my Herb garden.

2 Haddock fillets
Juice of two oranges (less two slices, reserved) – 1/4 cup reserved
2 tbsp Grape Seed Oil
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh Thyme, finely chopped
Zest from 1/2 Orange


Juice the oranges into a small bowl, reserve 1/4 cup. Add Oil, Rosemary and Thyme to the bowl and whisk to mix. Rinse fish, pat dry and place in large storage bag. Pour marinade into bag and marinate fish for one hour, turning occasionally.

Place fillets on oiled grill grates over direct heat and top with an orange slices. Grill fish for 10-12 minutes, turning once, until firm, flaky and translucent. Your time will depend on the size of your fillets and the heat of your fire. Transfer to plate and top with reserved orange juice and zest. Serve and enjoy.

Mediterranean Tilapia en Papillote

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Mediterranean Tilapia en Papillote
Mediterranean Tilapia en Papillote

I am not a big fish person. Meat three meals a day would suit me fine, but a healthy diet has a fair amount of fish. In a effort to outlive our retirement savings, I have started a search for good fish recipes. Mediterranean Tilapia en Papillote was the first one I tried and it was a success. Adding garlic, capers, tomatoes and olives makes fish into a worthy meal. I am also not a big olive fan, but the brininess of olives does go well with fish.

En papillote is French for “in parchment”. This method of cooking steams the food in sealed pouches while baking. So not only was the fish good, but the cooking technique was sort of cool.

I served the tilapia with couscous and sauted spinach for a healthy meal.

Serves 2

Parchment paper
2 tilapia fillets
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 Tsp pepper flakes
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 Tbs capers, drained
8 large, pitted kalamata olives, quartered
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Splashes of dry white wine
2 Tps unsalted butter
4 fresh thyme sprigs

1. Heat oven to 450°.
2. Fold two 15-inch-square pieces of parchment in half. Starting at the fold of each piece cut in a half heart shape.
3. Place 1 fillet next to the crease on each piece of parchment.
4. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic and pepper flakes in the oil until garlic turns golden, about 1 minute.
5. Add tomatoes, capers and olives to the skillet, remove from the heat and stir.
6. Season the fish with salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Spoon one half of the tomato mixture over each fillet.
8. Top each fillet with a splash of wine, 1 tsp butter and 2 thyme sprigs.
9. Fold the parchment over the fish and working from the top end of the heart, tightly fold the open edge of the paper with small, overlapping folds to form a seal.
10. Place packets on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.