We are living in a surreal world right now. It is comforting to gather around the table to enjoy meals as a family.
I find cooking to be very therapeutic, especially now. I have been making an extra effort to support my local fishmonger and use as many Appalachian ingredients as I can . With the launch of The J.Q. Dickinson Appalachian Mercantile last fall our selection of regionally produced food items has increased considerably. I have LOVED cooking with them. Now, more than ever, is a time to support our local producers.
Last night I prepared crispy, oven roasted cod with hushpuppies and marinated vegetables. Wade’s Mill, in Raphine, VA has an incredible hushpuppy mix made with locally grown and milled corn. I made an Appalachian tartar sauce with garlic dill pickles from Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon in Waynesville, NC, and added a dash of The Shack’s Sorghum Hot Sauce to give it a kick. I Served the meal with some marinated vegetables. I used some pickled carrots and onions I had in my refrigerator and added some blanched green beans, a touch of mustard and a little extra virgin olive oil, (from locally owned Villa DiTrapano). The tangy salad provides a great balance with the fish and hushpuppies.
I challenge you to gather local ingredients and develop your own recipes. Stay healthy and safe.
Crispy, Oven Roasted Cod with Appalachian Tartar Sauce
¾ cup high quality mayonnaise, such as Duke’s
¼ cups roughly chopped dill pickles (I used Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon’s Garlic Dill Pickle Chips)
1 Tbs pickle brine
1 Tbs course grained mustard
3 dashes of Sorghum Hot Sauce (I used The Shack’s) can sub a sweet-hot sauce
Pinch of J.Q. Dickinson salt
Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until well blended. You do want the pickles to retain some texture so don’t over process. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2 Tbs olive oil
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp minced thyme
1 large clove of garlic, minced finely
½ tsp ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp coarse salt (JQD)
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ pounds cod filets, cut into 8 similarly sized pieces
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until they start to brown. Add the thyme and garlic. Continue stirring until they are a medium, golden brown. Turn off the heat. Add ¼ tsp pepper, the cayenne, and 1 tsp salt. Pour onto a dinner plate.
In a wide bottomed bowl mix the eggs and the Dijon mustard.
Place the flour on a dinner plate.
Lightly oil a rack that fits over a roasting pan.
On your counter line up, from left to right, the cod, the flour, the egg/mustard mixture, and the breadcrumbs. Then the rack.
Season each piece of cod with the remaining salt and pepper. Coat with the flour, shake to remove excess. Dip in the egg mixture coating evenly, let excess drip off. Roll in the breadcrumbs. Place on the rack leaving space between each piece of cod.
Turn oven down to 425 and place on the middle rack of the oven.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.
Serve with tartar sauce.