When the hubs and I traveled to Vieques, Puerto Rico a couple weeks ago (recap of the trip coming Monday), we had freshly prepared fish at nearly every meal.
Early in the morning, as we sat on the patio sipping coffee and eating scrambled eggs with buttered toast, we would watch the fisherman head out into the ocean on these tiny boats. How their small engine crafts made it through the large white caps of the Atlantic Ocean still baffles me.
The fisherman would be gone for about an hour or two and then head back to shore. Their catch ranged from lobster, crab, bass, snapper, and the island specialty, conch. Have you ever tried conch? Whoa, bessie. Talk about buttery goodness. Conch is the meaty part inside the spiral sea shell. You know, the sea shell that you blow in to create noise? Yep, those guys!
In Vieques, the locals put conch in everything from chile rellenos, fritters, and the most common, ceviche. Mmmmm….ceviche. I swear on my KitchenAid Mixers life, Vieques has the best ceviche on this planet. Scouts honor.
Okay, where was I?
Oh yes, fresh fish.
Since I live in Denver, I couldn’t find fresh conch for obvious reasons. But I had mad craving for fish and something that reminded me of the island. So, what’s a girl to do? I took my matters into my own hands. Instead of conch, I decided to go the Alaskan cod route. I love cod’s buttery, flaky texture when its been roasted in a little bit of olive oil.
Of course, I didn’t stop at the cod my friends. I whipped up a little orange-saffron-tomato glaze to go on top of this beautiful fish. Holy, island heaven. Slide a piece of this fish between a whole wheat dinner roll and you have yourself a treat in less than 15 minutes.
Now, if I could only find a sandy beach…
Saffron, Orange, and Tomato Glazed Alaskan Cod Sliders
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 tablespoon white wine
Large pinch of saffron threads (any kind)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound Alaskan cod
6 whole wheat rolls, halved
2 cups arugula
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small bowl, pour wine. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Add saffron to bowl and let it stand for at least 7 minutes. Then add mayo, tomato paste, orange zest, salt and pepper. Stir all together.
Place cod on a baking sheet. Dollop tomato mixture on top of cod and spread around. Bake cod in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and flakey. To form sliders, spread a little of the tomato mixture on the bottom and top of the rolls, add some arugula on the bottom, and place a little of the cod on top. Cod is super flakey so be careful when cutting squares. About 1 pound of cod will form 6, one-inch slices. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine