I was looking over my calendar the other day, and realized that I have an uncharacteristically busy summer ahead of me. Tom and I will be hosting his parents for about a week at the end of May, we have vacation with my mom and sisters’ families in Tennessee later in the summer, a weekend trip to NYC to meet up with my grad school friend Audra, a potential trip out west to help my friend Gill pack for her upcoming move, and a trip up to Minnesota in August to celebrate my dad’s retirement. All that plus the fun weekend things I want to do around here, like going to cheer on Ruth while she run’s her marathon on Sunday (Go Ruth! Go!!) and a planned lavender picking and wine tasting Saturday in June. Somewhere in there, I should probably do the laundry too…
With so much going on, my nights at home alone while Tom is working are perfect for checking things off my to do list. Whether I am sitting on the couch completing work projects, using the time to finally hang the curtains in the guest room, or taking Abby for a long quiet walk through Capitol Hill neighbors, these nights are a critical part of maintaining what little sanity I have left. Sadly, with so much going on, I haven’t had much time to spend leisurely cooking and experimenting after work. Instead, I find myself making a lot of foil packet fish with a steamed veggie side. The recipes tend to be simple, boring even: fish+oil+garlic+lemon+herbs=dinner. This recipe, though, reminded me that a little creativity in the kitchen doesn’t need to take all day. It was delicious, easy, and perfect with the roasted asparagus I threw in the oven a few minutes before the fish was done.
As the fish and tomatoes cook, they release juices and begin to poach the fish in the broth. For this reason, I do not recommend parchment paper and remind you to make sure that your foil packet is sealed nice and tight! The recipe is designed for one, but could very easily be multiplied for a larger group and cooked together in a small pan or casserole dish.
Baked Cod with Tomatoes and Thyme
1 fillet Atlantic cod
9 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp olive oil
1.5 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1) Whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar. Whisk in thyme, garlic, and pepper. Toss the halved tomatoes in the marinade and set aside.
2) Lay out a piece of aluminum foil large enough to form a pouch around your fish fillet and tomatoes, carefully fold up the edged of the foil to form a bowl, you don’t need to fold up much, but this will prevent the marinade from running straight off the foil. Lightly brush the center of the foil with olive oil to prevent the fish from sticking.
3) If using frozen fish, make sure it is fully thawed and use a clean floursack towel or paper towels to pat the extra moisture from the fillet. Lay in the center of the tin foil.
4) Moving quickly, pour the marinated tomatoes and sauce over the fish. Pull up the sides of the foil and form a pouch, place on a cookie sheet and let rest for 10 minutes.
5) Bake on a rimmed cookie sheet (to catch in leaking liquid) in an oven preheated to 375ºF for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
6) When the fish is cooked through, carefully open the foil package, as steam is likely to escape. Lift fish from pouch and place on your plate, smother with the cooked tomatoes (I remove them from the pouch with a slotted spoon, letting some of the extra liquid drip back into the pouch).