Friday, August 30, 2013

Portuguese Tomato Sauce on Baked Cod

The other evening I got out an old cookbook, "Records of Memories", that my Mother-in-law had given me a decade ago. It contains a collection of recipes from the Portuguese side of the family, who were fishermen, hunters and ranchers whose relatives had immigrated to the Central Coast from the Azore Islands. There are other influences from Danish, Italian and German cultures represented as well. Therefore this cookbook collection contains many recipes for fish, venison, chicken, pork, beef and hearty dishes that will stick to your ribs and keep your body fueled. It also has many amazing side dishes and fabulous desserts that those women and men loved to make for their family gatherings. There is even a aection called, "Cooking for a Crowd - 50, 250, 500 or 5000." You know, a typical holiday family gathering type of crowd....It was really fun to browse through the recipes and read the names of the contributors, figuring out who was related to whom and so forth.

I remember my Mother-in-law saying what a good cook Aunt Marcel was. I found several recipes I want to share with my daughters as they get more interested in cooking so they can make some old family recipes for their Dad.

Marcel Raminha's Portuguese tomato sauce is great on fish
We got Albacore in the SLO Veg shipment this week, freshly caught in our local waters. It is perfect for baking and smothering in a tomato-based sauce such as this one submitted to the cookbook by Aunt Marcel. The albacore is firm and bakes through without drying out, plus there are no little bones to worry about. The sauce is simply onions, garlic, tomatoes with rosemary and thyme for seasoning. I coated the fish with olive oil and sprinkled it with lemon pepper and coarse salt. Then I baked it in a ramekin for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, I sauteed the onions, added in chopped garlic and diced tomatoes and let it cook down for about 15 minutes. I seasoned the sauce with salt and pepper, then topped the fish with a generous ladle-full just after it came out of the oven and served it in the ramekin. I paired the fish with sauteed buttered carrots with parsley and green onions.

Fish is seasoned and ready to bake in the oven for 25 min at 350 degrees
I baked my portion and ate it before going to work. Then I left the hub's portion fixed and ready for the oven with Instructions. He loved it. His text read, "Yummy dinner!" Uh-huh!

The final product, sauced and paired with buttered carrots for a garden-fresh meal

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