Fast Approaching Three and a Half

This title refers not only to the number of spoons given to today’s dish by myself and Mike, but also the age of our precious little Miss A. Now, for those of you that have children, you’ll know what we’re talking about when we say Miss A is officially entering “the three’s.” For those of you that don’t have children, let’s just say the person that came up with the slogan, “the terrible two’s” clearly did not have a three-year old child.

But before we get to that, let me share with you where Mike has chosen to take us for the next two weeks….Portugal! After a quick search of Portuguese recipes we were definitely excited. There is a myriad of delicious options from which to choose and today we’re kicking it off with one of the most popular foods in Portugal.

Portugal is a seafaring nation with the most prevalent fish being the cod, both dried (salt cod) and fresh. According to Wikipedia it is said that there are more than 365 recipes for cod, one for every day of the year; and it didn’t take us long to select our recipe, Portuguese Baked Cod.

Mike and Mr. N were able to pick up some fresh cod at a local fish market

We cut the fillet into four pieces and then fried the cod, skin side down, for about a minute in olive oil.

When each fillet was fried, we set the cod aside and Mike sliced some onion to toss into the skillet.

Next we chopped up some plum tomatoes and opened a can of fire roasted tomatoes to toss in the skillet with the onions.

We also threw in some white wine and veggie stock.

Mr. N then took care of stirring everything together as the mixture came to a boil.

We simmered the tomatoes and onions for 10 minutes while preheating the oven to 400F.

Next we placed the fish fillets back into the skillet on top of the tomatoes and onions, skin side up.

We then placed the skillet into the oven and baked the fish for seven minutes. While the fish was baking, Miss A got a lesson in chopping from Mike as they prepared our fresh parsley.

After the fish baked, we removed the skillet from the oven and then placed the fish on a plate to keep warm. We returned the tomatoes and onions to the stove top and added a bit of butter while bringing it back up to a rapid boil. We cooked the sauce until it thickened and then tossed in the parsley.

After another minute we scooped the sauce onto the plates and topped it with the cod fillets. We served the baked cod with a simple spinach salad and a parsley garnish.

This was a refreshing, hearty and absolutely tasty way to eat white fish. Mike and I both really enjoyed it. The fish was cooked to perfection and the tomato sauce wasn’t overpowering, but rather provided a delicious and balanced flavor. Easily a 3 spoon meal. I know that we’ll be repeating this recipe again as we try to incorporate fish at dinner at least once a week.

Now as for the kids, Mr. N enjoyed his meal. It wasn’t his favorite way to eat cod, but if he was served it again he’d eat it. So he gave it 2 spoons. As for Miss A, well she didn’t want to stop playing and was shall we say a bit on the tired side. So, she stopped by her seat, promptly upturned her plate and said, “I hate this! I’m not eating this for dinner!”

Mike and I looked at each other and sighed. Yep, just what we had been fearing the past few weeks. We were now officially in “the three’s.” So while Miss A went off to pout and cry, the rest of us sat down to dinner. A few minutes later she poked her head back in the kitchen and climbed back into her seat. She sat quietly for a while and then saw Mr. N eating his dessert. That was all it took. Miss A ate several bites of her fish, even said she thought it was good and then asked for her dessert.

So given that Miss A ate most of her fish without us even asking, we’re going to go with 2 spoons. We would have said 3 if dessert wasn’t the obvious motivator, but in all honesty, we think she actually liked the cod. It was definitely a new way of cooking fish for us and a way that we’ll be happy to add to our repertoire.

As for our precious little Miss A…well, we’re sure the next six months to a year or so will be interesting. (We still have clear scars from Mr. N’s time as a three-year old.) It’s a time of major physical and mental growth for little ones, and the definite transition from toddler/preschooler to an individually minded, independent little kid that knows there’s a world beyond mom and dad. I’d say that I hope the three’s go fast – and while some days I’m sure that will be the prevalent thought in my mind – I’m going to spend as much time as I can embracing the “little” moments before I wake up and find that my little princess toddler/preschooler has grown-up.

Print this recipe: Portuguese Baked Cod

44 comments on “Fast Approaching Three and a Half

  1. Rita Silva says:

    Hello Kristy, I just found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen.
    I’m Portuguese, and I really felt like I had to leave a comment. Your recipe looks awesome :) really like something coming out from a Portuguese kitchen :) but I must point something, which i think would make a difference:
    it is in fact true that Portuguese people are huge cod consumers, and there is a ginormous amount of recipes using it, but with one small detail: it’s always (always) salted cod. We either soak it in water for one to three days (depending on the thickness), or buy it already soaked and frozen and ready to cook. Even though we don’t really need to salt cod anymore, there is no other cod around! Really! It’s almost impossible to find fresh cod at the supermarket, lol. We love the slightly tangy taste the salt leaves, but specially we’ve grown accustomed the texture, which is much different from fresh cod: it’s firmer and it won’t get all soggy or mushy when stewed or baked with a lot of sauce, which can totally happen with other white meat fishes.
    What I mean with my ginormous post is: please, if you can get your hands on salted cod, you should definitively try it out :) I hope you get to visit our tiny country planted by the sea, check our amazing coast line, our old cities and castles and try out our cuisine :) I’m sure you’ll love it.
    Cheers

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Rita – Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment. I just happened to see salted cod for the first time at the grocer the other day. Until then I had never seen it and wasn’t even sure where to begin my search. I’m definitely going to try this recipe again with the salted cod this time. I think I might enjoy it more! And I hope to get to your country by the sea one of these days too! Thank you so much Rita. :)

  2. […] wanted a simple dinner with not much fuss, so we’re making Kristy and Mike’s Portuguese Baked Cod; instead of Cod we’re using Tilapia because I had some at home.  I was immediately drawn to […]

  3. Oh the glorious three’s!
    I still have scars from when my daughter was 3..and I am enjoying every day leading to my son’s third birthday (it’s in June)
    As for the fish, I loveed this new way of cooking it. Thank you for exploring new cuisines and teaching us new things

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! It’s amazing what the 3’s can do to us parents. ;) Hopefully the second time around won’t be so bad. That’s what I’m hoping. At least we know what to expect this time…then again, it’s never quite as we expect. :)

  4. Courtney says:

    Oh, I so remember that time and am NOT looking forward to it again. Three is just plain hard. Sending you lots of patience and humor to get through. :) Oh, and the cod, the cod looks so good. A tomato sauce sounds really good with it.

  5. Am I ready for G to be 3- its not to far away for me either? Wow, I might be calling you for advice! LOL! That fish looks AMAZING

  6. Mary says:

    Adorable!! I think it’s wonderful she ate any cod – it looks delicious – but I do remember all about 3 year olds – just wait until she’s 13!! Love the fact that you cook with your kids they’ll remember it always :)
    Mary x

  7. rsmacaalay says:

    Cod is my favourite fish thats why I am highly allergic to it I still eat them. This post remind me of a similar dish I made before http://wp.me/pMp9M-oX I think we have the same taste for food.

    • Kristy says:

      It’s funny you brought that up. I actually saw the link to Portuguese recipes on your site yesterday and saw this recipe! It does look very similar and very good. And you must really like this fish to eat even though you are allergic. :)

  8. Dawn says:

    Boy do I remember the “troubling threes” as we called it – but soon comes the “fantastic fours” and the “fabulous fives” are even better!!

    • Kristy says:

      You couldn’t be more right Dawn – even the sixes and sevens have been great with Mr. N. I’m just going to miss having a “little” one around. ;)

  9. I remember those days Kristy. I like your attitude about it. It really is just all about growing up and not about them being “bad” and needing to punishing them. Yeah, we can’t give them dessert without eating their healthy food, but we also don’t need to have our own tantrum over their misbehaviour although patience isn’t always easy. The fish looks incredible and I am also always trying to find new and different ways to cook it for our family. I haven’t tried it this way yet but can’t wait to.

    • Kristy says:

      Patience definitely isn’t always easy, but like you said, it’s just a matter of keeping things in perspective. :) We tried one other recipe with tomatoes and white fish and didn’t like it, but this one was quite good. :)

  10. Kelly says:

    Oh, that’s so funny. You have my deepest sympathies on the three’s :0 – I remember all the showdowns very well…. the screaming matches and the meltdowns in our home, at our in-laws (yikes) and in the street (double yikes), all centering around who’s in charge… (which we both know is our kids but we can’t let them know that! ha-ha) – it’s a tough time for sure. I like anything cooked in tomato sauce; it reminds me of my mom when I was a young Miss K. She would often prepare rice with boiled tomato for cozy snack time and I carry those memories and affection for cooked tomato today. This meal is about as healthy as it gets. I like it. A lot.

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! Ah yes, our meltdowns with Mr. N were in our home, my parents’ house, in-laws home, an airplane, a hotel lobby, etc. I could go on. But on the brighter side, I also think Mr. N broke us in pretty well. It’s amazing how much patience you learn to develop. It helps too that by the time the second one hits this age, you also have a few more parenting tricks up your sleeve. ;) And we liked how healthy this meal was too. Helps to balance things out a bit! :)

  11. Karen says:

    The fish looks perfectly cooked. Cod is not my favorite fish…I’m into the thinner, more delicate fish. When I moved to New England I have had to learn to like the thicker, cold water fish that you find here. This sounds really good and I love fire roasted tomatoes in recipes.

    What can we say about sweet Miss A…she was just having a bad day. Hopefully they will be few and far between.

    • Kristy says:

      Yep, you’re right Karen. It’s strange to think, but even little ones have bad days. ;) I mean I know I certainly have days I’d love to throw a little tantrum – especially at work. LOL. And you know, I used to prefer the thinner, more delicate fish types too, but lately have really begun to enjoy the thicker fish. Cod is probably among my favorite white fish now. This is the first time we’ve used fire roasted tomatoes, but I have a feeling they’ll be finding their way out of the pantry again. ;)

  12. Oh you should have seen Katherine trying to keep a straight face (as opposed to crying) when our niece spit risotto out onto her risotto plate, thereby wasting an entire serving. And our other niece, who talked about my linguine and clams for literally years, was quite funny about lasagna and salad. Or as she put it “I don’t really like lasagana with lettuce.” I love fish in tomato sauce so this recipe is right up my alley. I suppose when our friends’ kids get older, we’ll just have emergency hot dogs on hand.

    • Kristy says:

      LOL. Yep, hot dogs and chicken nuggets are always good things to have on standy-by. Although we’ve met kids that don’t eat those either so you may be better off just serving them what everyone else is having – it builds character (or something like that right?!). And I can totally relate to Katherine’s pain. If it was my own kids and it was a good risotto (as if there are any bad ones), I probably would have cleaned off their plate myself anyway. That’s probably why I get so many colds this time of year! ;)

  13. spicegirlfla says:

    I so know what your going thru, but I can honestly tell you that looking back now I can say none of those years were terrible as I miss those little faces with their cute growing and learning personalities so much!! Brace yourself, there will soon be those teen years with a daughter to look out for! It’s all good and I know you know that; as well as this cod is really good! Being Italian, sauce with fish or anything is my thing for sure!!

  14. What a healthy looking meal, I love to make a fish dish as well every few days. This one is heartier and better for our fall weather:)
    Not to scare you… but my daughter’s “Terrible Two’s” lasted until Grade One. However, I will say that I now have a wonderful, sweet but strong young woman who won’t get pushed around in life!

    • Kristy says:

      Phew! It lasted through Kindergarten?! Oh boy. Well, I have a feeling my daughter will be similar in that she won’t be the type to get pushed around in life. Assertiveness is something she does very well! ;)

  15. Eva Taylor says:

    This looks like a lovely recipe, Kristy. One that would fit well into our repertoire too. As for Miss A, I admire your patience…that’s all I’m gonna say!

  16. Mel says:

    Haha and to think I’ve heard people say motherhood is boring – that sounds more like a crazy adventure to me!!! :-) Miss A is just too cute, though.

    I visited Portugal in Dec and LOVED the seafood I ate there…. cod is so good cooked Portuguese style. This looks so good – and you’ve plated it so nicely!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Mel! I’d love to get to Portugal someday! That had to be a great trip! Motherhood boring? Those are two words I would never pair together. I will say that it’s a major life change and a far cry different from the singleton days or our early marriage days being that it’s a constant, sometimes draining, and gigantic responsibility; but it’s certainly never boring. (And it’s 100% rewarding!)

  17. Charles says:

    My wife thinks fish cooked with tomato sauce is the weirdest thing in the world – I think they go together amazingly. White fish can be really difficult to get right – you say it was cooked to perfection, so I’m glad it worked out ok. I’ve had many chewy, tough, dry bits of white fish in my time. Apparently one of the best ways to cook it is poach it in milk with a little stock added. I’ve simmered lightly in milk before – never tried with stock too though. Great looking dish – I love the contrasting colours with the sauce, fish and salad too!

    Dumping the plate contents on the table? I’ll have to remember that next time my wife serves me something I don’t want to eat! I think I might get a thick ear if I did that though :D

    • Kristy says:

      I’ll have to try the milk and poaching trick. That sounds interesting. And I wouldn’t recommend dumping your wife’s food on the table. Hiding it under the chair would be a bit kinder. ;)

  18. Oh my, I really hope that the “three’s” go by super fast for you!
    Strangely fish cooked with tomato and onion is not a favourite of mine – not sure why as I am the least fussy eater around. Maybe should just give it a go again. :-) Mandy

    • Kristy says:

      You know I wasn’t excited about this recipe at first either Mandy. We had another dish that we cooked in tomatoes (I think a Bermuda recipe) and I wasn’t a big fan. So when Mike suggested this, I was less than thrilled. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This one just worked. :)

  19. Let me just tell you how brave Miss A is. If that was me, I don’t think I would see upstairs lol. My mother was strict lol. I think you and Mike are handling it well :). But I am happy she came back and Mr. N was definitely a motivator for her. And even though I don’t have kids, I know about the terrible 3’s. I have 8 nieces and nephews, 2 of which I had to tend to while I was a teenager. Yup, I swore I didn’t want any kids then LOL.. but I do now.. well eventually lol. Now onto the cod.. delicious. I love a great white dish recipe.

  20. ChgoJohn says:

    Salted cod, bacala, was a favorite fish when I was growing up. They served it stewed, similar to the way you did here, broiled, baked, and grilled. I remember them flaking leftover grilled or baked bacala and serving in a salad, too. At least Miss A didn’t try to hide cod under her seat — or did she? You’ll find out soon enough if she did. :)

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