I love fresh seafood. I prefer meaty, mild white fish like Halibut and Mahi Mahi. When we were stationed in Belgium, I was introduced to another white fish that I fell in love with – Cabillaud. There was this quaint little restaurant in our village called La Coq Wallon. They specialize in Belgian food with a French twist. And while I love trying to figure out French menus, the fact that the waiter could explain every detail of the dish to me in English down to the minced shallots in a brown butter cream sauce, I was sold, and I tried the Cabillaud. It was so moist and flaky. When I got home, I had to do more research on this fish.
Turns out, Cabillaud is Atlantic Cod. That’s the fish we use stateside to make fish sticks, and it’s what the British use sometimes for fish and chips. I like fish sticks and fish and chips when I want something fried, but I thought Cod was a cheap fish that couldn’t be used in an elegant dish. After my dinner at La Coq Wallon, my mind was changed. Now, Cabillaud or Atlantic Cod is often the first fish I buy at the seafood counter.
When we were in Belgium, the cuisine I missed most was Mexican food, so I created this Cabillaud entrée with a Mexican flare. This recipe is organized so that everything finishes around the same time and is nice and hot when it hits the plate.
Grilled South of the Border Cabillaud
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 T diced red onion
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. salt
4 flour tortillas
shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc.)
4 thick Cabillaud (Atlantic Cod) filets
pork and lamb rub or seasoning*
Green Chili Rice
2 cups rice
1 can chopped green chilis
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cumin
Begin by cooking your rice. I prefer to use a rice cooker, and I use a blend of white and brown short grain rice.
Make the chunky avocado garnish by mixing the avocado, tomato, red onion and the juice of half a lime. Add in the salt and cumin and set aside.
Place two tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cheese and salt. Set aside to broil at the last minute.
Start the grill. Preheat the oven to broil.
Place the fish onto a large plate and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning on both sides. (Be sure the fish has enough olive oil on it or it will stick to the grill.) Place the fish on the grill over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, turning once with a spatula.
While the fish is cooking, place the tortillas in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts (keep an eye on them.)
Mix cooked rice with green chilis. Fill the empty green chili can with milk and add to the rice. Stir and season with salt and cumin to taste.
Cut the tortillas into quarters and set four on each plate. Spoon the rice onto the center of the plate. Top with a fish filet and a heaping spoon of the chunky avocado garnish. Bon Appétit.
*I use Napa Valley brand Herbed Pork and Lamb Rub. You can probably use any brand; just look for one with a little sweetness and a little spice.