You may be starting to think I only write about seafood, but trust me it’s just that the Pacific Northwest has so much amazing fresh seafood to offer this time of year, it’s difficult not to experiment and create new recipes. (My husband is already de-winterizing our boat so we can take advantage of the upcoming Dungeness crab season and also partake in the salmon run later this summer.)
Last night I made deconstructed fish and chips. The deconstructed part was thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes pan-fried in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. I made this overlapping potato “chip” circle, topped with black pepper garlic spinach, and fresh cod in a white wine sauce.
While pan-frying the Yukon Gold “chips” last night, the aroma of flavors brought back fond childhood memories. Growing up my mom used to make homemade french fries. She would slice fresh potatoes from the garden, bring a vat of oil to a steady simmer in her well seasoned, large cast iron dutch oven, and the wafting aroma would hypnotically carry me into our farmhouse kitchen.
I love how food is not just nourishment for the body, but it can transport you back in time to a memory. Food memories comfort your soul. Maybe that’s just my mom’s southern hospitality flowing through my veins, but I feel strongly that food and memories are so deeply intertwined that they help shape and mold us.
The food memories my mom imparted on me as a child helped build the cornerstone for my future culinary endeavors. Now, I not only create my own memories, but I build on her strong foundation. It’s as though my mom gave me this amazing gift – an obsession that would eventually lead me on a culinary quest to fulfill and quench my desire for food.
Cod in a White Wine Sauce
½ lb. cod fillets, deboned and skin removed
1/3 cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash cod under cold water and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly greased small baking dish. Sprinkle cod with paprika. Pour wine carefully around the fillet. Place in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until just barely flaky.
Yukon Gold Chips
2 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced ¼” thick
Boil sliced potatoes until just tender. Drain and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to generously cover the bottom of a large sauté pan. Pan-fry potato slices until golden on each side. Remove from heat and place on a serving plate. Overlap potatoes in a circle.
8 oz. fresh spinach, loose leaf
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. Olive Oil
Using the same sauté pan as the potatoes, add olive oil. Add spinach (it will quickly wilt). Once barely wilted, add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for approximately one additional minute. Remove from heat, place on top of the circle of potato chips.
By this time the cod should be done baking. Remove from the oven (test for flakiness). Place the cod atop the spinach, drizzle approximately 2 tablespoons reduced wine over the top, and serve.