Every year around this time I am sure to find my wife standing before our open refrigerator slowly shaking her head side to side, shoulders slumped forward, already wearied by the enormity of the task ahead. You see, my wife is big on advance planning, and about three weeks before Thanksgiving she starts to concern herself over the ability of our fridge to handle the seasonal onslaught of cooking that accompanies our holiday entertaining.
This little head shaking ritual is just the beginning of her annual crusade to rid the fridge of the 50+ (no, I'm not kidding, I just counted them) jars and bottles of everything from curry paste, to chutney, to mustards, olives, fruit butters, and tapenades. All this in order that we may actually have room to store the influx of raw and prepped ingredients, and the inevitable leftovers of our upcoming holiday feed-bag bingeing.
As we both are loathe to throw out food of any sort, even well worn condiments, each year it becomes my job as the primary chef around these parts to figure creative ways of incorporating our bottled bounty into some pre-holiday meal plans.
First up, this dish which includes a sauce that knocked off a jar of chunky olive tapenade, and a Tupperware container of crushed San Marzano tomatoes (that's right, we're now at 48 and counting!). This quick sauce was finished with a hit of pimenton for smokiness, and was a great accompaniment to our lightly curried cod loins, and my take on colcannon (an Irish dish typically made with potatoes, cabbage and leeks) that I made with blanched kale.
So….what do each of you have in your fridge that really needs using? Is there anyone out there that can compete with our 50+ bottle condiment count?
Cheers – Steve
Curried Cod with Kale-Cannon and Tomato-Olive Sauce
- 4 thick pieces of cod (each weighing about 1/3 pound)
- 1/4 cup rice flour (or corn starch)
- 4 tablespoons madras curry powder
- 3 russet potatoes
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 cup crushed San marzano tomatoes,
- 1/2 cup olive tapenade (or chopped olives of your choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon pimenton
- kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
for the sauce:
- Place the crushed tomatoes, tapenade and pimenton in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to the consistency you want, season to taste with salt and pepper, pull from the heat, cover and keep warm.
for the potatoes:
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Cut the woody ribs out of the kale leaves, then tear the leaves into large chunks and wash them 2-3 times in cold water. Once the water in the pot has come to a rolling boil, add the kale, pushing all the leaves under the surface of the water. Stir occasionally and cook until the water comes back up to a boil, then drain the kale in a colander and run it under cold water to stop it cooking. Squeeze any excess water from the kale, chop it well and set it aside.
- Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan and heat until the butter is melted, remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
- Peel and roughly chop the potatoes and place them in a pan of salted cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook until tender, drain and return them to the same pan. Stir the potatoes over low heat for a minute or two to cook off any excess moisture.
- Add the cream and butter mix to the potatoes and mash with a potato masher, add the reserved kale and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
for the cod:
- Mix the curry powder and rice flour in a shallow bowl.
- Place a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with a thin slick of olive oil.
- Generously salt and pepper the fish on both sides, then dredge in the curried flour to coat.
- When the oil in the pan starts to shimmer place the fish in the pan, giving it a gentle shake to keep it from sticking. Cook three to four minutes per side until the fish is just cooked through, it should still be shiny and translucent at its center.