Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring, huh!! Dinner, A to Z

Tuesday it snowed all bloody day and was totally horrid out there. GroundhogNot that I went, but we have a girl who cleans for us once a month and she had trouble getting her car cleaned off and came an hour late which, for a Canadian, shows how bad it was. I can’t see us having spring any time soon, more snow is forecast for the rest of the week. In fact there is a heading on CBC “Canadians brace for a cold spring coast to coast”. Those groundhogs, especially Wiarton Willie, didn’t know what they were talking about. Luckily the roads have been staying pretty clear. Funny this winter, we didn’t have anything much until the beginning of February and then we ended up getting snow and its been snowing on and off ever since. I don’t know if this will be a good or bad thing for asparagus season, at least there should be plenty of moisture. Last year they were having trouble because it didn’t rain.

Last night we finally made it to The Keg – we were given vouchers  as an anniversary present last September. Another couple of friends The Keghad vouchers too so we finally got together and went. Matt and I had never been before, there isn’t one in Kitchener, although there is one in Waterloo and another in Cambridge, neither of which are very far away. Found the service to be very good, but for us, the restaurant was way too noisy. We like to be able to chat amicably not shout across the table. Matt and I had Caesar salad, a beautifully cooked fillet steak with rice pilaf in my case and baked tatie for Matt served with mushrooms and peppers. We also split a bottle of wine between the four of us. Our friends ordered starters, calamari for one and escargots for the other. Turns out there is a world shortage on escargots, didn’t know that, so she didn’t get them; had calamari as well. I’m afraid we weren’t sold on the place and neither of us would go back, mostly because of the noise.

Although the A to Z Blogfest is not til April 1, I have been working on my blogs and have nearly got them all finished. Don’t forget to sign up if you haven’t done so. You can click on the badge at the side and it will take you to the sign up page. Its a fun way to meet other bloggers as well as getting a few more comments on your own blog.

Ketchup seems an odd ingredient, but I must say the picture looks delicious. This is certainly one we will try although possibly with haddock rather than cod, easier to get for us.

Sautéed Cod with Rich Ketchup Sauce

Contributed byJean-Georges Vongerichten
Ketchup is the mystery ingredient in the complexly flavoured sauce for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's sublime cod and vegetable sauteed-coddish.
  1. 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
  2. 1/4 cup ketchup
  3. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  4. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  6. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  8. 1 garlic clove, minced
  9. 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  10. 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  11. 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  12. 1 plum tomato—peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  13. 6 large green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  14. 6 calamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  15. 1 tablespoon nonpareil capers
  16. Pinch of saffron threads
  17. 2 teaspoons shredded basil
  18. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  19. Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless cod steaks, about 1 inch thick
  20. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter with the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar and Tabasco and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, celery and chile and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a bowl and add the tomato, olives, capers, saffron, basil and thyme.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Season the cod with salt and pepper and add the steaks to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp and the flesh flakes easily, about 12 minutes.
  4. Rewarm the sauce and pour about 2 tablespoons in the center of each of 4 large dinner plates. Set the cod steaks on the sauce and spoon the vegetables on top. Serve immediately, passing any additional sauce alongside.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Let the vegetables return to room temperature before serving.

Have a great day


  1. We have snow forecast for tomorrow and the weekend so I guess I shall get some A-Z posts prepared. I'm nowhere near as complete as you - I'm only up to 'D' having changed my mind over the theme I was to follow.

    1. Hope you don't get too much of the white stuff.

      I enjoyed your castle theme last year, I was amazed that you and Hilary only hit the same castles a couple of times. I had never realised there were quite so many in the UK even though I lived almost on top of two for a large part of my life.

  2. I have about half of my posts written.

    1. Think I have three to go. Probably easier for me as I write every day but Sunday anyway and I don't have to go to work.

  3. Sounds yummy. May be I will give this a try. I have to cook with very little oil or butter though, but I think since Cod is healthy I will give my husband a break.

    1. Fish generally is healthy Munir. I think any firm white fish would do.

  4. Right now, it is really cold here. This is the coldest March I've ever experienced in NC. It should be 80 degrees now, not 50!

    1. I seem to recall you are inland somewhat, on the coast is is colder than usual too. We lived there in '89, I think, when we got 18 inches of snow on the coast at Christmastime. It should warm up for you soon. Dunno how long it will take for us.