As a kid growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, fish on Friday was an automatic.  But…  since my mom wasn’t really crazy about most fish – and she did the cooking – our Friday Fish was usually relegated to her iceberg lettuce tuna salad in the summer, or tuna casserole in the winter.  Fish sticks never entered our home.

I’ve always liked fish, but, not having had it regularly as a kid, I just don’t think about it that much as a dinner item.  And if I do, it’s usually a nice, classic recipe such as a Sole Meuniére – sole dredged in flour and fried in half a pound of butter.  Or a nice, meaty fish steak with a Beurre Blanc – more heavy cream and butter.

Adding a few hundred grams of saturated fat to a product that is supposed to be lean and reasonably healthy is pretty much defeating the purpose of eating it in the first place.  Of course, I have never been accused of being logical or rational, either.

I’ve made a few strides in trying to lighten the classic French-style cooking I learned so many years ago…  I make lots of salsas and other sweet/savory combinations and make broth sauces and gravies where I once would have made a bordelaise.   But my first instinct is always to go with a classic.  And did you know that a hollandaise sauce can go on just about anything?!?  It’s frightening.

So…  the challenge is always how to get the flavor and texture I want without resorting to “lite” versions of what was once real food.  (I do have my standards – low as they may be!)

I have to say that I hit a homer with this one, tonight!  It had all the necessary ingredients:  quick and easy to do, tons of flavor, and reasonably healthy, to boot!

Morue Sur un Croûton

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 5 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cod fillets
  • olive oil
  • 2 thick slices good bread
  • a dozen or so fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside.

Place fish on baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until just done, about 6-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet. Add tomato mixture. Cook until tomatoes soften and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.  Season with S&P to taste.

Lightly toast bread. Place on plate and top with tomato sauce, basil leaves, fish, and then a final spoon of sauce.  A bit of fresh basil on top, and dinner is served!

I did some mixed squash on the side – olive oil, garlic, and oregano.

This was so easy to do and got rave reviews from Victor.

And there’s still angel food cake with fresh strawberries for dessert.