Day 155: And the house smells of fish once more

June 4, 2007

L and I were going to cook Indian-Asian Seared Cod with Cilantro-Mint Chutney and Sweet Pea and Coconut Jasmine Rice at lunch time today, in between house showings. We decided, however, that it would make the house smell less than cinnamon-fresh-airy sparkledust, so we decided to postpone. Our later showing was cancelled anyway so we rustled this meal up just before I went to work.

The jasmine rice is sautéed in vegetable oil with onion and garlic, then cooked in chicken stock with shredded sweetened coconut. A handful of frozen peas are added at the last moment. We only had unsweetened coconut, which turned out fine as the rice and peas were sweet enough already. Whilst L ate the whole meal, I ate just a bowl of the rice for a quick supper and it’s remarkably good. It’s a little creamy and the coconut gave it a bit of a crunch, and everything can benefit from adding frozen peas, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, the coriander dusted cod fillet was to be seared on one side, then covered in foil and baked in the oven. As we had not turned the oven on at this time, L just turned the fish in the skillet, turned the heat down low and placed foil over the top of the fish. A few minutes later it was cooked to perfection. The chutney was made in the food processor by blitzing all the ingredients until they formed a smooth paste: garlic, cumin, jalapeño, cilantro, mint, onions, scallions, ginger, lemon juice and zest, sugar and a splash of water.

The chutney was arguably more of a herb paste, but it was very successful. Neither of us like cilantro, but L happily ate his, enjoying the medley of flavours and the distinct kick of the spice. All in all this was a very well balanced, easy to prepare, impressive looking dinner. If you liked the flavours of the food, I could imagine this becoming an easily adapted way to cook and serve fish.

Tomorrow we have two house showings scheduled for the dinner hour, so we may have an audience when we finally make Sweet and Savory Stuffed Veal Rolls with a Mustard Pan Sauce, without creating a mess, a smell or any unwanted noise.

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