Olive Oil Poached Cod With Spanakorizo

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I love fish and seafood and when I am in Greece I probably eat it in some form every day. Despite living in Canada where we have a very good supply of fish and seafood, there’s a lack in Mediterranean seafood and that’s okay. Eat local, right?

This past summer I did a cooking gig where I made fried fish sandwiches, using Nova Scotia fresh haddock fillets brought here in Ontario from FisherFolk. I can still remember opening the styrofoam containers: the immediate fresh smell of the sea and sweet aroma of fresh fish. If anyone has been to sea, the smell of the sea is a desirable one – fish should not smell fishy.

This past summer I hosted a Greek Supper Club where the entire menu was of fish and seafood – enter fresh haddock again. This time I gently poached the fillets in Acropolis Organics olive oil. Good olive oil is not just for salads or drizzling a finished dish. You can sauté, you can make French Fries and you can poach fish in olive oil. The trick here is to get the oil to gently quiver and slowly poach the fish.

The great thing about this method is that the fish retains its delicate flavour, the oil imparts a lovely aroma and flavour and the best part? The oil can be re-used for other cooking uses. So, this method is healthy, it’s delicious and it’s economical.

My olive oil-poached fish was served with this wonderful rendition of Spanakorizo from the Dassios family, worth another look and indeed, another helping!

Olive Oil Poached Cod With Spanakorizo

(serves 4)

4 fresh haddock or cod fillets

extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

lemon zest and lemon juice to taste

Spanakorizo With Green Olives

2 lbs. fresh spinach, rinsed well, rough chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup long-grain rice, rinsed

1 1/2 cups chicken/vegetable stock

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill+ 1/4 cup finishing dish

 juice of 1 lemon

salt & pepper to taste

sliced green olives for garnish

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium heat, add onions and garlic, sweat for 5 minutes. Add rice, cook for a couple of  minutes while stirring.
  2.  Add chopped spinach in batches until it starts wilting. Add  the stock and half the dill. Cover & steam until liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes. Add more stock if necessary. When rice is done, add lemon juice, rest of dill. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into serving dish, fluff rice with a fork, top with crumbled feta and chopped green olives and dill.
  3. Alternatively, you can finish this dish in the oven: After the spinach has wilted in the pot, pour contents into a deep casserole dish, cover with foil and place in a pre-heated 375F oven for approx. 30 minutes. Again, fluff rice, mix remaining dill and lemon juice and top with green olives. Reserve and keep warm.
  4. To olive oil poach your fish, ensure the fillets have been rinsed and patted-dry. Choose a pot that will snugly fit your fillets in it then pour about 1 inch of of olive oil in and turn the heat onto medium-low. Place an oil or candy thermometer in the oil heat to  temperature of 210F (the oil should be just quivering).
  5. Carefully lower your fish into the oil and poach the fish for approx. 6 minutes or until it turns opaque.
  6. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the fish from the oil and serve on top of each helping of Spanakorizo. Serve as a main or side with a Kir Yanni Samaropetra.

© 2012 – 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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