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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tomato Roasted Codfish with Mussels & Shrimp

I don't think I've mentioned the fun fact that one of my best friends lives on this little island too. Luckily because of her I know which doctor to go to and where to get a decent haircut. Erin has the really fun job of writing the food column in the Martha's Vineyard Times. Each Thursday, I get excited to read what she has to say in the paper - it's kind of like opening a magazine and seeing a family member staring back at you. Wait, I know her!

This week she's asked local fisherman, chefs, and yours truly to share our favorite ways to cook bluefish and striped bass. For 67 years the Vineyard has hosted a Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby in September so most families are eating their fair share this month.

This is the tomato roasted seafood dinner I gave Erin and one we really love. I used codfish here but striped bass or any white fish is really yummy. People are often intimidated by cooking fish - pan searing and grilling can seem tricky to a new cook but an oven is approachable and easy.

Tomato Roasted Codfish with Mussels & Shrimp
serves 4

4 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 chopped yellow onion
2 ounces pancetta, bacon, or other pork product diced (sub mushrooms for meat free)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 cups fresh tomatoes, pulsed in blender or food processor into a chunky consistency
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound codfish fillets
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
12 mussels, cleaned and debearded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Heat the oil in a medium saute pan and saute the onion and pancetta over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes, saffron, salt, pepper, white wine, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, lay the fish in a 10-by-14-inch baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and mussels to the dish. Pour the sauce over the seafood and bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until the fish and shrimp are cooked through and the mussels are open (mine took exactly 25 minutes).

Sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Ps. We ate the stew ladled over roasted red and purple potatoes to soak up the juices.

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