Call this my California comeback meal.
I cooked very differently in Argentina. I used almost exclusively Argentine products, except some spices I brought with me. I was cooking meals for me and only me, so I was less adventurous, plus my kitchen was less stocked. (Ask Marissa, who said she’d never seen a fridge of mine so empty.) And when I went out for meals, it was mostly for Argentine or Italian, nothing with much spice. So I looked forward to the flavors I’d return to in Los Angeles.
Cilantro, lime and chilies — one of my favorite combinations, common in Mexican and Indian cuisine — came together in two components of this fish. First, a salsa verde, which cooks with the fish, then a pineapple and roasted poblano salsa served on top.
Does it need both? Maybe not, but we had produce to use up, and the two salsas work together nicely. The tomatillo sauce keeps the fish moist while baking, and I loved the sweet, sour and spicy addition of chunky pineapple-poblano salsa.
We served the fish with cilantro rice, quesadillas and a salad with my cilantro-lime dressing (used before on an Ahi Tuna Tostada and Fiesta Quinoa). The meal was very California, and I liked it.
- 6 tomatillos
- 1 large jalapeno
- juice from half a lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- small handful of cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor for a few seconds. You don’t want large chunks, but not completely smooth either.
Pineapple and Roasted Poblano Salsa
Adapted from Epicurious
- 1 poblano
- 1 cup diced pineapple, including the juice that is released as it’s cut (fresh is highly recommended)
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- a few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped
- squeeze of lime juice
- salt and pepper
Over a gas stovetop burner, roast the whole poblano until all sides are evenly charred. (It is normal for the skin of the pepper to make a popping sound as it burns.) When done, place in a paper bag and keep closed for a few minutes to sweat. Then, skin should easily come off with your hands. (You can run under cold water to help, though you’ll lose some smoky flavor.) Cut and remove seeds, then dice poblano. (Wash hands and avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth!)
Cut pineapple, onion and cilantro, then combine all ingredients together in a small bowl. Allow time for flavors to marry.
- 4-5 cod fillets (or other white fish)
- salsa verde
- pineapple-poblano salsa
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange fillets in a baking dish, then cover with some or all of the salsa verde. For cod, bake about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
Serve with chunky pineapple-poblano salsa on top.