One of my New Year’s resolutions is to “eat well to feel well.”
Winters here in North Dakota are Long and Dark, and one way to combat the winter blues is to fill my diet with as much healthy, low-fat protein and vitamins as possible. Today’s Baked Alaskan Cod with Red Onion and Caper Vinaigrette is an easy and delicious remedy to the ravages off winter.
Fish is an excellent source of vitamins that are believed to boost energy, mood and immunity, like C, D and B12, as well as those all-important omega-3 fatty acids which can help lower cholesterol level and promote good heart health.
Yes, fish is good for us…but, how do we make it taste great?
Some fish, like salmon and tuna, have their own unique flavor and require little beyond lemon and herbs to make them shine, while mild fish, like cod and tilapia, may need a little more help in the flavor department.
The key to this light and delicious fish recipe is the tangy and robust Red Onion and Caper Vinaigrette that is drizzled over the cod just as it comes out of the oven. The vinaigrette is best when made at least 2 to 3 hours before serving, which helps the red onions to mellow and lose their spicy bite.
I love that you can prepare the dressing up to a week in advance and have it ready to go when you need it. It is also excellent over breaded veal, pork and chicken cutlets, or even jut on a spoon.
When it comes to healthy eating, simple is best.
This Baked Alaskan Cod is an easy, weeknight recipe that can be ready to eat in under an hour, and even less time if you prepare the vinaigrette in advance. The fish is coated in seasoned flour and quickly pan-fried until seared (to hold in the juices), then finished in a hot oven until cooked through.
We use cod for this recipe, as it is affordable an easy to find in most markets, and any mild, flaky white fish works well. For a light and healthy dinner that will keep you full until morning, we enjoy this dish with hearty and nutritious sides like our Tuscan Bean Salad or Superfood Salad with Kale, Quinoa and Sweet Potato.
Are you hoping to eat a healthier diet this year? What are some of your favorite healthy dishes? Let me know in the comments below, and happy cooking!
Baked Cod with Red Onion & Caper Vinaigrette
4 fillets of cod, approximately 4 to 6 ounces each
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, more as needed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a pie pan or shallow dish, use a whisk or fork to combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet of fish in the flour mixture until evenly coated all around, shaking off any excess flour. Place the dredged fillets on a plate.
In a medium or large frying pan, add the oil and cook over medium heat until hot. Working in batches if necessary, brown the fillets in the oil, turning once, until just lightly golden on both sides, about one minute per side. This step creates a seal which helps the fish retain its moisture while baking.
Transfer the fillets to the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the inside of the fish is opaque in color and the top of the fillets begin to loosen and gently flake apart.
To serve, place the fish fillets on a serving platter or individual plates and generously pour the red onion caper vinaigrette over the top. This sauce also works well with salmon, tuna and swordfish.
Red Onion & Caper Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 to 6
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg yolks (may use pasteurized if desired)
3 oz. white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup red onion, minced
¼ cup capers, drained
Combine the egg yolks, vinegar, honey, mustard, onions and capers in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together well. Slowly add the oils in a very slow stream to the mixture, while continuing to whisk. Place a damp towel underneath the bowl to keep the bowl stationary.
This will also enable you to keep your hands free so you can hold the whisk in one hand while pouring the oils with the other. Once the oil has been incorporated add salt and pepper to taste.
The vinaigrette can be served chilled or at room temperature. Before serving, whisk again until all ingredients are well-blended, then spoon approximately one tablespoon over each fillet.
To Store: Cover and refrigerate for up to one week.
- Great with flaky white fish like cod, sea bass or halibut, and also good with swordfish, tuna and salmon.
- We use three egg yolks for this recipe, and you can buy pasteurized eggs if you’re not comfortable using regular eggs.
- The vinaigrette is also great over breaded veal, pork or chicken cutlets.