Meal Challenge: A meal I expected to hate but turned out amazing: Roasted Cod and Mushroom Ragout

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Honestly, if you knew how reviled both fish and mushrooms were in my childhood home, you would know as well as I do how unlikely a meal like Cod and Mushroom Ragout would ever be made. Like, the thought actually made me laugh out loud. So I prepared for this meal with trepidation. The thought of it a little grossed me out. But this is one of the recipes from the 7 Years Younger plan, and I actually haven’t had a bad meal from them, so I thought I’d give it a try. Reluctantly.

It turned out amazingly well. Z couldn’t stop commenting how much he liked it. The surprise swing vote was X, who at eight months old pretty much refuses to eat any solid foods ever. But give him some baked cod and mushroom topping and he went crazy. It was pretty cute – he’s just like a little bird when he wants his food, all big eyes and gaping mouth, waiting for the next morsel. When he tries to get it his mouth of his own accord, he does a better job of squishing it through his fingers (which might have been his end goal all along).

So here is the recipe for Cod and Mushroom Ragout. I made a few changes to the mushroom sauce, based on the recipe for some delicious Mushroom Empanadas I got while at Christmas in November at Jasper Park Lodge one year. That recipe made me not so scared of mushrooms. The changes are minimal, it just involved a little more spices into the mix. I served the meal with a pepper salad, which consisted of peppers, feta and some balsamic vinaigrette. A huge hit.

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Roasted Cod and Mushroom Ragout

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large shallots

salt and pepper

2 packages sliced mushrooms

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3/4 tsp each dried thyme and sage leaves

4 skinless cod fillets

1/2 cup red wine

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. Combine sweet potatoes, olive oil, half of the shallots and salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on a 18×12 jelly roll pan. Roast 15 minutes.

In 12-inch skillet, heat more oil (I’m really liberal with my oil use, I’m not going to lie I pretty much never measure quantities) on medium high. Add remaining shallot, garlic, thyme, sage and more salt and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and 2 tbsp water; cook 8 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.

Shift sweet potatoes to one side of the roasting pan and add cod to the other side, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast alongside potatoes 8-10 minutes or until fish is just opaque through.

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Stir in wine; scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.

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Divide potato and cod among serving plates. Spoon mushroom ragout over cod (and sweet potatoes too, because it was just so delicious).

Word of the day:

Claque: a group of persons hired to applaud an act or performer; a group of sycophants

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