While Memorial Day weekend wasn't entirely beautiful, Saturday was perfect, and the other days were just gray, that did not stop us from starting the summer season (unofficially). We had a BBQ one night with burgers and hot dogs, and then by chance, while grocery shopping on Monday, we decided to start the seafood rotation!
A couple apartments ago, we were cooking fish more frequently as we chose to buy frozen items that would last, in case we decided to change the night's plan at the last-minute. However, a couple years and too many frozen cod filets later, we stopped buying seafood almost altogether. There's only so much frozen fish you can stand after a while. And let me preface: this was not pre-prepared frozen fish. It was bags of pre-portioned frozen cod from Whole Foods, which is not a bad way to eat at all, we just merely ate it too often and got sick of it. Plus, the quality seemed to suddenly vary a lot (red flag, in my opinion).
So fast-forward to grocery shopping on Monday, at Wegman's, our current go-to for fresh seafood (seriously!), and I decided it was time to reinstate seafood into our weeknight dinners. I spoke to the fish monger, and decided on Atlantic Cod and Sea Scallops (a pound of each for two different dinners). Fresh only! Except for shrimp, which we often buy frozen, since it lasts pretty well. I know, I kind of seem like a contradiction saying we won't buy frozen any more, except for certain foods, and for certain reasons, and then promoting fresh fish from some places and not others. Here's my thought: purchase what's right for you and your family from whichever location you prefer. For us, we try to buy fresh fish whenever possible, and a splash (ha) of frozen when truly necessary. That's just our current method for seafood.
In terms of dinners, we stuck to two of my favorites: pan fried cod and baked scallops on subsequent nights, which felt very special! It's been a while since we have had seafood at home, two nights in a row. For each fish, we chose a different veggie that we thought would compliment the main item well. Pan fried cod was paired with a medley of zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and Kalamata olives. Baked scallops got matched with sautéed asparagus and garlic. Each uniquely delicious and each one a familiar favorite!
For pan fried cod, we dip it in an egg wash, then in GF Panko from the brand Aleia's, and cook it in a hot pan with a little olive oil. Cook time varies on thickness of fish, and personal preference of how "done" you enjoy it. For the veggie mix, each one was chopped in advance and sautéed together in the following order: onions, then zucchini, then tomatoes, and olives near the end. Cook time is about ten minutes, depending on how "done" you like your vegetables!
For the baked scallops, we actually used a real recipe! My husband did a quick Google search and we found one that sounded great from The Lemon Bowl. We followed the recipe pretty much as it says except we used Sea Scallops instead of Bay, and made one large baking dish instead of individual portions (however, what a cute idea for guests!). I have provided the link to the exact recipe below; I strongly recommend it! Do note that we subbed in GF panko, from Aleia's Gluten Free Foods. In terms of our side vegetable, we did a classic fresh asparagus with garlic and butter, sautéed in a cast iron pan. I'm loving asparagus lately, especially since the farm we visit on weekends has homegrown (i.e. their own) asparagus for sale right now. So good!
As always, feel free to ask about specific quantities or other ingredients we may have used. Full disclosure: my husband is our in-house chef and I am the meal planner. I decide what to make for the week and he makes it happen. I love it. This works well for us and always yields delicious results! Moving forward, I'll be sure to let you know if a certain meal/food item is made by me, but that's not the norm around here. :)