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Dinner for two

Spanish braised cod

February 11, 2009

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Serves 2

Large pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 pound thick cod fillet, cut into 2 pieces
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon hot pimenton de la Vera or chipotle powder
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (and juices), pureed in a blender
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the saffron over the vinegar; set aside.

2. Sprinkle the cod generously with salt and pepper.

3. In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When it is hot, add the fish and cook for 2 minutes or until it browns lightly. Turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Add the onion, red pepper, and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes or until the onion softens and starts to brown in places. Add the pimenton or chipotle powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

5. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, sherry vinegar mixture, and 1 teaspoon thyme. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Tuck the fish into the broth. Set on the lid askew. Cook the fish for 5 minutes or until it is just firm to the touch and starts to flake.

6. Serve in shallow bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.

Tony Rosenfeld