CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Baked Cod With Tomatoes and Olives

Lent is just around the corner, so that mean’s there will likely be a fish fry or two on tap in your neighborhood, not to mention Friday fish specials on many a restaurant menu.

Walleye is the fish of choice at a lot of frys in my neck of the woods, although Alaskan pollock is a good substitute, especially if it’s done up right like it is at Sacred Heart, the local Catholic church in East Grand Forks, Minn.

I love fried fish, but the past several years, poaching and baking have been my preference, although my George Foreman grill fills in nicely, too. Salmon and halibut are among my favorites using these methods, but I’ve become quite fond of cod recently.

Compared to salmon, cod is a much leaner fish, hence it is lower in calories. In fact, cod is lower in calories than meat, chicken and many other types of oily fish. Raw cod contains only 82 calories per serving and has no carbohydrates, making it an ideal addition for people with diabetes or those on low-carb diets.

The following baked cod recipe is a snap to make and economical as well, making it my “catch of the day.”

Baked Cod with Tomatoes and Olives
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and black pepper
1 14½-ounce can diced Italian-style tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick olive oil-flavored cooking spray. Arrange cod fillets in dish; season with salt and pepper.
Combine tomatoes, olives, and garlic in medium bowl. Spoon over fish.
Bake 20 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with fork. Sprinkle with parsley.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutrition facts per serving: 121 calories, 5 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams protein, 1 gram saturated fat, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 574 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

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