It’s Spring, I think-some days we have sun and other days we have rain and ice. I am hoping since it is mid-March we are headed towards beautiful spring days. When Spring arrives everyone starts to think of fresh vegetables, fruits, salads, fish and generally eating lighter. I have said this before, but my family does not love fish. They don’t hate it, but they don’t love it. So I have to work hard to find fish dishes that are tasty and easy. Cod, Halibut, Sea Bass and Tuna are all great choices for fish that is not too fishy. They are flaky white fish that cook easily and can be thrown in the oven for even easier preparation. Cod with Sweet Potato and Leek Hash sounds very fancy but it is really pretty easy and your family will love it.
I don’t know about you, but I think cooking fish seems a bit daunting and I am not sure why, but its scary! I am afraid that I am going to over cook it or undercook it or it will stick to the pan….But, in reality its not that hard and this cod recipe is easy. The trick is to buy the absolute freshest fish you can find and use a non-stick skillet or a greased baking dish (I use non-stick cooking spray). Then it becomes pretty easy.
With this recipe it is a full meal on a plate-no need for extra side dishes unless you just want to add more veggies. But this is a filling dish and oh so good!
You are going to need three pots/pans for this preparation. A small pot for the polenta, a medium sized skillet for the hash and a large non-stick skillet for the fish. If you have everything prepped before you start (peel and dice the sweet potato, cut up the pancetta-or buy pre cut, wash and pat dry the fish) this recipe will only take you about 20 minutes to pull together.
Cod with Sweet Potato and Leek Hash Over Polenta
- 4 4-6oz pieces of cod or halibut
- 2 Tablespoons oil (grapeseed or extra virgin olive)
- Salt and Pepper
Sweet Potato Hash
- 2 Medium Leeks
- 1 Tablespoon oil (grapeseed or olive)
- 4 oz pancetta, chopped
- 1 Small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 Cup cornmeal (polenta)
- 4 Cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon butter
Wash and pat the fish pieces dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a medium pot with a lid bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
While the water is to coming to a boil, prepare the hash.
Cut the dark ends of the leeks off and the root (you only want the white and light green parts). Cut the leeks into 1/4" rings. Rinse very well under running cool water. I use a wire mesh strainer to do this. Leeks are very sandy and need to be cleaned well.
In a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tablespoon oil. Cook the pancetta for about 3-4 minutes and then add in the leeks and diced sweet potato. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until the pancetta is crispy and the potato and leeks are tender. Season with salt and pepper and add in the sage.
Once the water comes to a boil add the cornmeal whisking as you pour in the cornmeal. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon granulated garlic. Lower the heat to low and cover. Let cook about 15 minutes or until the polenta is creamy and cooked through. Once it is cooked through stir in grated Parmesan cheese and 1 Tablespoon butter. If the polenta becomes too thick just add a little bit of water to thin it out. You want it thick, but not gluey.
In a large non-stick skillet add 2 Tablespoons oil to pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the fish and move it ever so slightly so it does not stick. Cook about 4-5 minutes per side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is opaque all the way through.
Divide the polenta between 4 plates. Place a piece of fish on top of polenta. Spoon hash over fish and polenta.