Cedar Smoked Bass with Broccoli Rabe & Chard

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After watching a somewhat disappointing Barcelona football match, Davis and I made our way on an errand run where we inadvertently ended up with way more amazing striped bass than we expected from a great local grocery. $40 will apparently buy you quite a lot of fish. I’m not really at that level of super ballerdom in my life, so we had to share the maritime bounty. At this point, I had no other recourse other than to call up a couple of friends for an impromptu get together. Really, you don’t want my problems.

For Christmas, my auntie had given me some cedar grilling papers and I’ve been waiting for the perfect chance to use them. It’s not exactly outdoor grilling weather, so we went with the oven after soaking the papers in water and wine. The papers provide such a subtle flavor that they need to be paired with a mild fish, and the rest of the meal should also be kept simple and bright as to not over power the flavor.

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Four Sauces and Roasted Zucchini with Blue Cheese

I would say that I normally stick to less than fancy fare, but this is one of the most fun dishes that I’ve ever made. Sure, it’s a bit showy, but you gotta be decadent sometimes or life can get a bit boring. We ate these tasty little morsels standing up in our kitchen tapas style, interchanging the sauces on the scallops as we went with zucchini as palate cleansers. Still, either dish would be quite nice as a starter for a dinner party; they’re both able to stand up on their own just fine.

The roasted zucchini with blue cheese was put after each scallop to help completely wipe the flavor of the previous sauce before moving onto the next. Especially with the spicier sauces, the flavorful cheese cut the heat. Since Davis and I like our food spicy, we were partial to the Habanero Lime and Jalapeno Cilantro, respectively. However, the Creamy Lemon with Green Onion and Pistachio Crumble stood up to the test. All and all, this is a dish that could give a person a little culinary hubris.

Not going to lie, this might be the fanciest thing I’ve ever made.

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Cod with Dill Potatoes

At work this week, I was tooling around the interweb looking at food blogs for “dinnerspiration,” and I stumbled across an incredible photo from Sweet Amandine. To me, this picture embodied exactly the kind of dish you want to make during the summer. I called the photo to mind later in the week when we had a cod filet to use for our weekly fish dish.

Simple flavors always feel the most effective for me, and since cod is pretty delicate I didn’t want to completely overtake the flavor of the fish. I decided that all I wanted to top the fish with was some lemon slices and use roasted tomatoes as a side, and the result was a wonderfully simple, delicious dish.

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